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Tuesday, 15 May 2018
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Earl of Cornwall pub - Update

Locals still shocked and stunned

Report and photographs: Paul Janik
A father and son have been arrested, charged and
detained in prison awaiting trial for a violent death.

The Earl of Cornwall pub cordoned-off as a serious crime scene. Police forensic investigators spent several days meticulously examining the bar area.

A police source said there was a risk someone might attempt to penetrate the police cordon to get into the pub. As PCSOs lack the legal authority to arrest people, groups of uniformed police officers guarded the site day and night.

On Wednesday, 9 May 2018, a quarrel is said to have occurred in The Long Barn pub, in Cippenham Lane, to the west of the Earl of Cornwall and a few minutes walk away. Those involved were a father, his son and the deceased man.

Local people say all three men left The Long Barn pub at differing times and arrived at the nearby Earl of Cornwall pub.

Inside the Earl of Cornwall, the men's dispute reignited and developed into violence. It was alleged a knife and chair leg or chair arm were used as weapons.

When the violence ended a woman is said to have shouted-out Call the police.  The Slough Times wonders why the pub's staff failed to call the police when fighting started.

The police attended and instantly, at 23:28, called the ambulance service to report a serious assault.

Ambulance control immediately despatched:-

  • a paramedic team leader in a rapid response vehicle
  • an ambulance officer in a rapid response vehicle
  • an ambulance
  • a doctor

The ambulance service said:-

One patient with life-threatening injuries was taken to Wexham Park Hospital; two further patients with minor injuries also went to Wexham Park Hospital.

Local people say the deceased man was resuscitated at the scene and again at the hospital.

Thames Valley Police said their specialist officers are currently supporting the deceased's family.

Blood smears on a window in the public bar.
Initially police arrested the father and his son on suspicion of serious assault. They were kept in police cells awaiting a decision whether to charge them or to release them from police custody. Meanwhile the critically injured man, Jason Gardner, is said to have died at Wexham Park on Thursday afternoon, 10 May 2018.

The pub's owner, Greene King PLC of Bury St Edmunds, told the Slough Times:-

We are shocked and deeply saddened by this incident and we are doing everything we can to help the police investigate. Our thoughts are with the families affected.

Mr Gardner's family said:-

Jason was a loving son, father, husband, brother, uncle and friend whose smile could lift a room.

He will be sorely missed by all those whose lives he touched so positively.

Court appearance

On Saturday, 12 May, circa 12:45:-

  • John Christopher Ward, aged 57, of Stoke Road, Slough; and
  • Charlie Joseph Ward, aged 35, of Eltham Avenue, Slough,

still in police custody, appeared at Reading Magistrates Court. Both were jointly charged with:-

the murder at Slough on 10 May 2018 of Jason Gardner (contrary to Common Law)

Jason Jay Gardner was 43 years-old.

Neither accused pleaded his innocence or his guilt. As this type of hearing is known as a remand hearing pleas are voluntary.

Magistrates remitted the case to Reading Crown Court because of its seriousness and ordered the men's continuing detention until their Crown Court appearance at 09:30 on Monday 14 May.

At Monday's Crown Court hearing, a case management meeting was scheduled for Friday 3 August 2018 and a trial starting on Monday 15 October 2018 in Reading. The trial is expected to take between 2 and 3 weeks. The men were remanded to prison until their trial.

The Ward's case number is T2018 7087 although that may change if their trial is moved to another area.

Flowers left outside the pub, in the car park.

Flowers left outside the pub, in the car park.

Flowers left outside the pub, in the car park.

Because people have been arrested, the Slough Times can not report everything local residents have told us. The reason is to give the accused men a Fair Trial.

The legal argument is we should not publish material that could influence a jury. Therefore nothing about the accused, good or bad, should be published. Neither should anything be published suggesting they might be guilty.

Ultimately the men's innocence or guilt should be determined solely on evidence examined in court.