Victim died from 12cm stab wound pathologist tells murder trial

Winsford Road in Bury St Edmunds where Neil Charles was fatally wounded

Dr Nathaniel Cary, a consultant forensic pathologist, gave evidence at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday. - Credit: Archant/Supplied

A thief who was the victim of an alleged “vigilante” killing by a Bury St Edmunds father and son after he tried their car door handles died from a 12cm stab wound to his chest, a court has heard.

Consultant forensic pathologist Dr Nathaniel Cary told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday (April 25) that the wound passed between two of 47-year-old Neil Charles’s ribs and punctured his left lung causing it to collapse.

He said the depth of the wound was 12cm - nearly five inches.

Dr Cary said Mr Charles also had two cuts on his left hand caused by a blade and a 4cm wide slash wound across his left leg above the knee.

He said the cause of death was blood loss caused by the stab wound to the chest and he described the level of force used to inflict the wound was “moderate”. 

Before the 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.

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It has been alleged that the father and son hunted down 47-year-old Mr Charles and stabbed him after he tried the 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”.

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 - of which David King had licences for 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.

The trial continues.