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Murder trial begins into Chelmsley Wood death

A YOUNG man from Henley-in-Arden was stabbed to death during a brawl sparked by a family dispute, a jury has heard.

A YOUNG man from Henley-in-Arden was stabbed to death during a brawl sparked by a family dispute, a jury has heard.

Harry Broadhurst, aged 22, was knifed in the abdomen during the disturbance at St Anne’s Catholic Centre in Chelmsley Wood on November 20.

The businessman, whose funeral took place at St Alphege Church earlier this year, was a stranger to those involved.

Two other victims were injured with a machete and hammer after violence erupted at a charity boxing night, Birmingham Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

Liam Cole, 29, Paul McAteer, 32, and Scott Smith, 40, all deny the murder of Mr Broadhurst.

Opening the Crown’s case against the defendants, James Curtis QC alleged that McAteer and Smith were “recruited” by Cole to join an attack on his father, Eamon Crawford.

Mr Curtis told jurors that Mr Crawford left Cole’s mother when he was six and then refused to acknowledge him as his son, particularly with a view to paying child support.

During his opening speech, Mr Curtis alleged that Cole became enraged after hearing his father wanted to end formal court proceedings involving the Child Support Agency by offering him a “cheap bung” of cash. Cole, the Crown claims, regarded the offer as the “ultimate insult” and enlisted the help of McAteer and Smith to get his revenge.

On the day of Mr Broadhurst’s death, Mr Curtis alleged, Cole phoned his father and told him he was “coming to sort him out”.

Mr Crawford, then aged 46, suffered wounds to the abdomen, head and hand during the violence on November 20 last year. Another customer at the social club received a hammer blow to the head, while Mr Broadhurst, who was at the front of a pursuing group as the attackers fled, died after his vital organs were severed.

Smith, of no fixed abode; McAteer, of Crossfield Road, Kitts Green; and Cole, of Nearmore Road, Shard End, further deny conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Crawford.

The trial, which is expected to last up to four weeks, continues.

 

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