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Jury retires in Sutton Halloween hat killing trial

Ben Gardner
Image caption Ben Gardner had been celebrating his girlfriend's birthday

Jurors have retired to consider their verdicts in the trial of three men accused of killing a man in a row over a Halloween hat in south London.

Ben Gardner, 30, was punched and kicked in Sutton, on 31 October 2009 after his girlfriend's hat was snatched in the street.

Allanna Devine, 28, was also punched by the attackers, the Old Bailey heard.

Daniel Ransom and Ross Collender, both 21, and Jordan Dixon, 18, all of Carshalton, south London, deny murder.

Sarah Davey, 41, of Sutton, denies assisting an offender by harbouring Mr Dixon.

The defendants did not give evidence during the trial.

Mr Gardner, an IT expert at insurance firm Legal & General, had been to a club with Miss Devine to celebrate her birthday.

The court heard Miss Devine was waiting for Mr Gardner outside a kebab shop when her pirate's hat and a wig she was wearing were snatched.

Later when the pair were returning home Miss Devine saw the hat lying on the ground and asked the group of men to return it. It was then the attackers "unexpectedly" hit Mr Gardener, is is alleged.

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