Dad ‘was stabbed for helping teenager’

Simon Warton
Simon Warton

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A FATHER-OF-ONE was stabbed in the heart after trying to comfort a teenager who had been assaulted by her jealous boyfriend, a court heard.

Simon Warton, 27, was fatally wounded when he attended a house party in Curlew Gardens, Wecock.

A murder trial at Winchester Crown Court heard he was stabbed with a large kitchen knife by 28-year-old Sean Bailey.

Bailey, of Robin Gardens, Wecock, denies murder, and says he was acting in self-defence after Mr Warton and two brothers, Bradley Woodacre and Matthew Mourne, set upon him.

Prosecuting barrister Miranda Moore told the jury Bailey was a ‘jealous, unpleasant, hot head’ that night.

She said Bailey armed himself with four kitchen knives and went after an unarmed man.

The court heard a party took place at a house in Curlew Gardens on April 11.

‘Everybody had been drinking a lot,’ said Mrs Moore. Some had been taking drugs that were on offer.’

Bailey and his 16-year-old girlfriend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, went upstairs and started fighting, the jury heard.

Mr Mourne, who has died since the incident, said he had heard the argument.

Mrs Moore said: ‘He heard this defendant attacking (her) for what he thought was unfaithful behaviour. She had unblocked someone on Facebook so they could carry on talking to her.’

The jury heard Mr Warton, Mr Woodacre and Mr Mourne went upstairs and found Bailey pinning his girlfriend to the bed with his hands around her throat.

After breaking up the fight, the owner of the house told all of them to leave.

Outside Mr Warton asked if the teenager was okay, the jury was told, and there was a ‘scuffle’ between Bailey and Mr Warton.

Mrs Moore said: ‘He appeared to be offering comfort to her. It was something this defendant was angry about.’

She added: ‘Suddenly Mr Woodacre said Bailey ran past him from the front garden and went back into the kitchen.

‘He put the knives in the knife block into his coat pocket.’

One party guest, Jade Copeland, had said she saw Bailey leave the house with a ‘huge knife’ in his right hand.

The jury was told a neighbour heard ‘I am going to hurt you if you go near her again’.

Mrs Moore said the attack happened in Dove Close, round the corner from Curlew Gardens, in the early hours of April 12.

She said: ‘Both brothers are shouting at him to put the knives down.

‘But nobody sees Simon Warton actually get stabbed.’

The jury heard that Bailey was attacked with broken bits of chair by Mr Mourne and Mr Woodacre before running off.

Mr Warton, of Orsmond Close, Waterlooville, died at the scene.

Mrs Moore said: ‘When (Bailey’s girlfriend) ran to see Simon Warton, he was leaning against a car, bleeding heavily and then fell to the ground.’

Four knives were found by police. One in the front garden of the house hosting the party, and two blood-stained knives, including a six-inch bread knife, in the front garden of a neighbour’s house on the corner of Curlew Gardens and Dove Close. Another knife was found in a drain.

Bailey was arrested by police at a flat in Southampton House, Broadmere Avenue, Leigh Park, on April 14.

He told detectives he acted in self-defence in the kitchen of the home after Mr Warton, Mr Mourne and Mr Woodacre followed him and attacked him.

He said he picked up a knife behind his back and jabbed blindly forward.

The prosecution claims Mr Warton could not have stumbled 45 metres from the kitchen to Dove Close with such a devastating wound.