Birmingham & Black Country

Daniel Baird murder: Man in court over 'punchbag row' death

Daniel Baird Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Daniel Baird was stabbed outside The Forge Tavern in the Digbeth area of Birmingham

A man knifed a fellow nightclub reveller amid a row over the venue's electronic punchbag, a court has heard.

Carlton Donaldson, 24, is accused of killing Daniel Baird, 26, when a dispute between two groups of men spilled onto the street outside the Forge Tavern in Digbeth, Birmingham.

Mr Baird was rushed to hospital by a passing Google Maps driver, who had performed wheelspins in a bid to distract the fighting men.

Mr Donaldson denies murder.

Three other men are also on trial for violence and knife offences.

Birmingham Crown Court heard Mr Donaldson's friend Sashon Brown, 25, was involved in an altercation when Mr Baird's friend Dale Scott, 29, took a swing at the pub's punchbag machine.

The prosecution said the Tavern's CCTV footage shows Mr Brown holding a blade hidden in his hand next to Mr Scott.

Paul Curtis QC said Mr Donaldson later pursued Mr Scott and his group into Fazeley Street after the pub closed in the early hours.

Mr Baird and Mr Scott were stabbed near a bus shelter at about 4.20 BST on 8 July, 2017, the hearing was told.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Daniel Baird's family said previously he had been in the 'wrong place at the wrong time'

Google Maps operator Amrith Tlukdar came across the scene and drove his Ford Fiesta up and down the street near the pub doing "wheelspins" in a bid to distract the groups, the hearing was told.

He helped fatally injured Mr Baird into the back of his car, while Mr Scott got in the front passenger seat after he had been stabbed in the back.

Mr Tlukdar then drove the pair to hospital.

Image caption The Forge Tavern is on the corner of Fazeley Street and Great Barr Street in Digbeth

Prosecutor Mr Curtis said the "stabbing spree" was "not done by accident or chance".

He said: "Mr Baird did not fall onto a knife. It was driven into him.

"This is a stabbing spree by whoever held this knife - which we say is Carlton Donaldson."

Mr Baird was pronounced dead at 05.43 BST at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital.

A pathologist said Mr Baird died from a single 2.3cm stab wound to the heart.

Image caption Police carried out extensive investigations at the scene following the fatal stabbing

Mr Donaldson of Minstead Road, Erdington, is charged with murder, wounding with intent, attempted wounding, possession of a bladed article in a public place and violent disorder.

Mr Scott, of no fixed abode, Mr Brown of Woodington Road, Sutton Coldfield, and Sean Spooner, 28, of Deelands Road, Rednal, are all accused of having a bladed article in a public place and violent disorder.

Each of the men deny all of the charges against them.

The case - listed for six weeks - continues.

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