Father and son murder trial is adjourned until after Easter

Two men arrested in connection with the murder of Neil Charles have been released from bail, but rem

Neil Charles - Credit: Suffolk police/Supplied by the family

The trial of a Suffolk father and son accused of the “vigilante” killing of a thief in Bury St Edmunds after he tried the door handles of cars outside their home has been adjourned until after Easter.

Before Ipswich Crown Court are 55-year-old David King and his 19-year-old son Edward King, both of Radnor Close, Bury St Edmunds. 

They have denied murdering Neil Charles, and an alternative charge of manslaughter in June last year.

The trial started on March 22 and the prosecution had started calling its witnesses when the case was adjourned on Friday (April 1)  until April 19 because of the Easter break and commitments of those involved in the trial.

It has been alleged that David and Edward King hunted down 47-year-old Mr Charles and stabbed him after he tried door handles of cars parked outside their home.

Christopher Paxton QC, prosecuting, has claimed they delivered their "own form of justice" on Mr Charles in the early hours of Sunday, June 20 last year around 70 metres from their family home.

He described what they did as an act of "vigilante violence”.

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Mr Charles suffered a 12cm single stab wound to the chest and a slash wound to his knee and died  two days later.

Mr Paxton told the jury that Mr Charles had a "long career" as a thief and burglar and  was out that night “looking for opportunities to steal".

“The prosecution accept he was out that night stealing or looking to steal. But we have the police force to be called out and a criminal justice system to process those who are accused of a crime,” he said.

Mr Paxton has alleged the father and son had an "obsession" and "fascination" with weapons and following the death of Mr Charles, numerous items were discovered at their home. 

These included knives, knuckledusters, machetes, and shotguns - for which David King had licences as a registered firearms holder. 

The court has heard that the defendants exchanged violent texts prior to the killing saying what they might do if anyone came to their home and did what Mr Charles was trying to do.

In a 999 call after the alleged attack David King claimed Mr Charles had run on to a knife he was holding after hitting him with his bike.