A 26-year-old man from Leicester has been jailed for life for stabbing a man in the neck with a broken bottle.Advertisement
Philip Sherriff, a telecommunications worker from just outside Preston, bled to death after Ashley Charles severed his artery.
The jury at the Old Bailey heard how Charles and Sherriff had been at the bar inside a Jessie J concert at the Pulse nightclub in South London.
Sherriff was on the phone, as footage shows, and Charles became enraged as he was trying to get his free drink. The video footage below shows the moments just before the attack.
Charles, a graphic artist, will serve a minimum of 14 years in prison.
Detective Inspector Richard Beadle said: “I hope his conviction will bring some sense of justice to the family who have been devastated by Philip’s murder. He truly was a decent, hard-working family man who in no way contributed to his own demise.
“This case highlights that one single second of aggression has fatal consequences for some and a life-changing impact on so many.
“If any good can come out of this, I would implore people to remember what has happened to Philip. If you ever find yourself in a bar, or anywhere else for that matter, and confrontations are developing and tension rising, think of Philip Sherriff and then do everything in your power to just walk away and let things be.
“If you can do that, then Philip’s memory may just save someone’s life, but it may also prevent someone from taking another person’s life.”
Mr Sherriff’s wife, Jane, who is leading the Bottlestop campaign to ban glass bottles in late night pubs and bars, said she was glad to see justice.
She said: “I have always known that whatever the outcome today, nothing will fill the massive hole left when my husband Phil was so brutally taken away from us. However, I’m glad that justice has been done.
“I would like to thank the people who helped Phil when he was attacked – the paramedics and staff at the Royal London Hospital who tried to save him.
“I wish to thank the police and the CPS, whose enduring professionalism led to this outcome, and the witnesses who stood in court to give evidence.
“I also want to thank the thousands of people all over the world who have offered their support to my campaign to ban glass bottles from late night city centre clubs and pubs.
“With their help I will be fighting hard to make sure no other families experience the hell we have been put through due to the actions of one man.
“Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends. They have helped me through the darkest days imaginable. Now I face the challenge of moving on to the next chapter of my life.”
Find out more about the Bottlestop campaign in our interview with Jane Sherriff about why she’s leading the petition and online movement for changes to late night venues.
Read the full court report on London SE1