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No5's Michael Duck QC defends in Big issue vendor murder case

Michael Duck QC from No5 Chambers has defended in a recent murder case that saw John Ward, a homeless man, detained for life after pleading guilty to two counts of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Ward, 23, stabbed Ian Gladwish, 31, and Wayne Bust, 32, who were both Big Issue vendors, on Union Street in Birmingham city centre on 11 January 2013.

He had travelled from London to Birmingham and was stood with the men as they sold the magazine. It was the first time he had met them. After the stabbings, he gave police a written statement saying: ‘John Ward admits stabbing two men in Birmingham city centre — he intended to hurt them but not to kill them.’

Psychiatric experts for both the prosecution and defence, who agreed that his serious mental health disorder was at the root of his attacks, diagnosed Ward as a paranoid schizophrenic.

At Birmingham Crown Court, the judge ordered Ward to be detained at Ashworth Hospital for a minimum of 12 years.

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