Stevenage caravan site murder trial: ‘21-year-old was killed in family feud’


- Credit: Archant

A Stevenage man was murdered at the door to his caravan in a family feud that started before he was born, a jury has heard today.

Thomas Ward

Thomas Ward - Credit: Archant

Thomas Ward was shot in the chest with a shotgun in the Dyes Lane caravan park by one of a gang of three masked men on the night of April 23 last year, prosecutor John Price told St Albans Crown Court on the first day of the trial.

Mr Price told the jury that even if his cousin John ‘Boy’ Ward was not one of the three masked men, he was guilty of murdering his 21-year-old cousin by leading them to the caravan park.

He said: “John Ward was one of the men who on that night travelled to the site in order to ambush and kill Thomas Ward.

“But there may have been more than the three seen by witnesses.”

He said John Ward, who is charged with murder, had lost two brothers in a feud that started with a fatal road accident in 1987.

In 1999, Thomas Ward’s father was convicted of the manslaughter of John’s brother James ‘Bimbo’ Ward, who died six years earlier.

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Mr Price told the jury that those incidents led to the killing of John Ward’s his cousin.

The 33-year-old, left the country the day after the killing, and was arrested in Denmark in February.

His wife Joeleen, 22, who he lived with at Clarkson Court in Hatfield, his brother Francis, 42, of Stable Way in Kensington, and his sister Winifred, 47, of Cambridge Road in Hounslow, are also on trial, accused of assisting his escape.

Mr Price said there was no suggestion that the trio had participated in the murder.

The trial is not expected to conclude until the end of September at the earliest.