Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wroughton - Trial Latest


A Ridgeway schoolboy has told how terrified children and parents witnessed the savage attack on Henry Webster. The youngster gave evidence via video link at Bristol Crown Court after the footage of his first statement a year ago was played to the jury. The court heard how screams filled the Wroughton school's tennis courts as 15-year-old Henry was repeatedly struck with a hammer.

The witness - who cannot be identified for legal reasons - said: "The younger children were in shock and were crying, "I heard a woman - who was by a car - screaming."

Henry was attacked with a claw hammer on the tennis courts of Ridgeway School, Wroughton, on January 11 last year. During the assault he was also punched and kicked as he lay on the ground bleeding. A large number of pupils and parents are believed to have witnessed the incident, which took place as students made their way home at about 4pm. The jury in the trial of Wasif Khan, 18, Amjad Qazi, and two boys aged 15 and 16, heard that the Year 10 pupil had just left a PE lesson a few minutes early and was waiting for a friend in the tennis courts when he saw a gang acting suspiciously.

He said: "There were three Asians patrolling outside school. I say patrolling, they were walking up and down Inverary Road with their hoods up looking into the tennis courts."

The teenager then said that one of the unnamed defendants approached the gang and pointed out Henry by shouting It's the ginger one'.

He said: "It was crystal clear."

He added: "The Asians walked up to Henry and punched him to the ground. The little guy held him back and then one got a hammer out. They must have hit him seven or eight times on the head or shoulders. He (Henry) fell to the floor again, tried to get up but fell over, then they ran out up Inverary Road."

The witness said he didn't return to school the next day because he was worried for his safety. He said: "I was in shock"

The trial continues.


The sound of a hammer smashing into Henry Webster's head still haunts a teenager who saw the attack, a court heard. The year 10 Ridgeway pupil, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the jury at Bristol Crown Court: "You could actually hear his skull crack and see the blood go everywhere when he fell on the floor."

Wasif Khan, 18, of Caversham Close, Amjad Qazi, 19, of Broad Street, a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have all denied wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

"It went to the bottom of your stomach, like just before you are sick," the teenage witness told the seventh day of the trial.

"A few days later all I could see was that hammer going over and over again. While I was close to it I could hear it. People near me could hear it. I heard his skull crack quite clearly from about 10 metres away. Blood was all coming down his face and on his hands where he was trying to stop the bleeding."

The pupil said he saw three Asian men enter the tennis courts at Ridgeway School, Wroughton. He said one of the men was hunting around the dashboard of a red car before he entered the tennis court and repeatedly beat Henry in the back of the head with a silvery hammer with a black or blue handle.

"The one with the hammer was hitting Henry in the head with it," said the witness "Then he turned the hammer around and used the claw end. He brought the hammer down with the full force of his arm and shoulder."

The teenager said three Asian Ridgeway pupils, including the 15-year-old defendant, then kicked and punched Henry as he lay on the ground.

"While they were punching him the facial expressions of the kids doing it looked like they really wanted to hurt him. They kept punching and punching, over and over. While Henry was trying to block his face, they kept trying to stop him covering his face."

The trial continues