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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Pal Ann Bailes describes moment David Wilkes beaten unconscious in Dane John

08 January 2014
by Paul Hooper

A woman has told of her terror as she watched attacks on her friend Dave Wilkes in Canterbury’s peace park.

Ann Bailes claims two men punched and kicked the 35-year-old alcoholic as he sat near a bench – after accusing him of being a wife beater.

She told the jury how she watched a young man lift Mr Wilkes from the floor with his right hand before delivering a blow with his left fist.

A policeman guards the scene in Dane John Gardens in Canterbury. Picture Paul Amos

A policeman guards the scene in Dane John Gardens in Canterbury

Prosecutor Robert Acheson asked: “How hard did his (Mr Wilkes') head hit the concrete?”

She replied: “Out of 100?...100! It was a thud.”

Mr Wilkes died from his head injuries six days later without regaining consciousness.

Ms Bailes, who had gone to the Dane John Gardens park with her son Jamie, was then asked what state was Mr Wilkes left in.

She told the jury: “His eyes were closed. Jamie and me could see blood coming out of his nose and the side of his head.”

The prosecution has claimed that the blow was delivered by 22-year-old Lloyd Thorne, who had gone to the park with pal, Lukasz Michalski.

Homeless David Wilkes died in hospital days after being attacked in a Canterbury park

Homeless David Wilkes died in hospital days after being attacked in a Canterbury park

Earlier, she claimed that Mr Wilkes had been attacked by Peter Clement, 50, who had asked him: “Do you hit women?”

Ms Bailes said her friend had replied “no” but was asked again before Clement was alleged to have kicked him in the ribs as he lay on the floor.

She said: “He kicked him four or five times. Dave then slumped down in agony. Pete was kind of angry. He just looked to me as if he was going to kill him.


 

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“I believe he then called him a nonce and carried on kicking him.

"Pete then went to another bench and Dave managed to get himself propped up and had another drink of Special Brew.”

She then told how two men arrived at the park and were spoken to by Clement.

A plastic bag covers evidence in Canterbury's Dane John Gardens

A plastic bag covers evidence in Canterbury's Dane John Gardens

One of the men, Thorne, is then alleged to have walked over to Mr Wilkes and attacked him.

“He said to Dave: “So you hit women do you?” and began punching and kicking him.

“He kicked him four or five times. Dave then slumped down in agony. Pete was kind of angry. He just looked to me as if he was going to kill him" - Ann Bailes

"I was terrified. Dave wasn’t a very large man but this young man had no trouble lifting him up before smacking him down to the concrete", she claimed.

She added: “After that there was no movement from Dave whatsoever.”

Ms Bailes said that after the police and paramedics were summoned Clements allegedly told her: ‘Keep my name out of it’.

She added: “He asked me not to mention anything to the police about his involvement. I wasn’t to mention he had anything to do with it.”

The trial continues.

 

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