Two men accused of killing a builder with an axe posed for pictures armed with massive knives less than an hour before the incident, a court heard today.
Donald Pemberton, 21, and Ryan Williams, 22, had gone out on New Year’s Eve ‘looking for trouble’ Plymouth Crown Court was told before Tanis Bhandari died trying to protect his friends from the pair.
Mr Bhandair, 27, was allegedly attacked outside The King Arms pub, in Tamerton Foliot on the outskirts of Plymouth Devon, at around 1.30am on New Year’s Day.
He was part of a group that were confronted by the two men who had reportedly gone on a violent rampage arming themselves with an axe and ‘at least one knife’.
The Facebook images shown to the jury showed Pemberton and Williams posing with huge bladed weapons as they prepared for a night of violence, the court heard. They are not alleged to have used the same weapons in the attack.
Simon Laws QC, prosecuting at Plymouth Crown Court, said the pair ‘left behind a scene of carnage’ and it was simply ‘bad luck’ that they crossed paths in the first place.
Mr Bhandair, of Tamerton Foliot, Devon was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering fatal images. The court heard how the four other members of the group also suffered injuries during the brutal attack.
Jamie Healy was ‘lucky to survive’ after losing his spleen and kidney, while Sean Cordon was ‘stabbed in the back and was also lucky and fortunate not to have been more badly injured’.
Another friend George Walker suffered a stab wound to the arm ‘as he raised it to protect himself’ and he also suffered knife injuries to his neck.
Both defendants deny all five counts, all relating to this one incident in the early hours of New Year’s Day. They are jointly charged with murdering Mr Bhandari, three counts of causing grievous bodily harm to Jamie Healy, Sean Cordon and George Walker and one count of actual bodily harm to Matthew Dawe.
The duo were ‘tipsy and high-spirited’ after allegedly drinking at a party prior to the incident. They encountered several revellers on their way home from a night out.
At their first encounter near a bus stop they asked a young woman and boyfriend for a cigarette, shoulder barging the young man. At a roundabout one of them jumped in front of a car which ‘frightened’ the female driver.
Another driver saw Williams in the middle of the road in a stance ‘a bit like a boxer’ while the other man, Pemberton, sprinted at the car in a ‘angry and aggressive’ manner. Some of this incident was caught on CCTV and shown to the jury.
The next incident involved a group of four near the entrance to Milford Lane where their behaviour ‘escalated’. One of the group, William Hickey, said Pemberton pulled out a ‘kitchen or fishing knife, six inches long, which he held to his face for ’10 or 20 seconds.
The group immediately called the police at 1.36am and the group ‘could hear screams coming from the directon of The Kings Arms, because the defendants had begun their attack’.
The trial continues.