The man accused of killing Ramsgate dad Michael ‘Archie’ Ward following a row at a barbecue last June has been cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter by unlawful and dangerous act.
Mr Ward, 40, was stabbed in the leg following the row in St John’s Crescent, Ramsgate, at around 5pm on Sunday 18 June 2017.
John Buchanan, then 21, of St John’s Crescent handed himself in to police at Margate Police Station five hours after the incident where he was arrested and charged with Mr Ward’s murder.
He denied the charge but was found guilty of manslaughter today (January 19) following a week-long trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
The jury heard how Mr Ward had driven to the address in St John’s Crescent that day to speak to his ex partner and mum to two of his children, Hannah Blake. Aware that Mr Ward was about to visit the house, new partner Buchanan armed himself with a kitchen knife and threatened to stab him. The pair had an ongoing dispute.
When Mr Ward arrived at the house Buchanan was seen goading him from the kitchen window and was heard threatening to stab him if he came near, all the while he was still holding the knife and waving it at Mr Ward.
His behaviour was witnessed by several people who were gathered for a barbecue outside.
Mr Ward went back to his vehicle but Buchanan opened the front door of the house with the knife in his hand and continued to shout at him.
Mr Ward then went back towards the house and both men argued in the kitchen for a short while before the victim left and got back into his car.
It was at this point that Buchanan emerged from the house and threw the knife at Mr Ward. It went through the open car window and stabbed him in the thigh.
He drove off but only managed to get as far as Bush Avenue where he stumbled out of his car and onto the pavement, then collapsed on a driveway.
An ambulance was called after he was found by a member of the public but paramedics were unable to resuscitate him. The knife had severed a main artery. Ramsgate football team player and former Hereson student Mr Ward was declared dead at the scene just after 6pm.
Detective Inspector Tristan Kluibenschadl, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Michael Ward, known to his friends as Archie, is sorely missed by his family and friends and that’s down to Buchanan’s appalling and cowardly actions that day.
“He repeatedly threatened the victim and had clearly intended to cause harm when he armed himself with a 7-inch kitchen knife. He showed little remorse or concern for Mr Ward’s welfare following the attack and didn’t seem to care that the whole thing had played out in front of families, including children, who were gathered in the street.
“This is a sad case and I hope one which will reinforce the message that knife crime and the use of violence to resolve issues can have grave consequences and simply won’t be tolerated by Kent Police. Buchanan is a young man but will now serve years in prison for his actions.”
Buchanan, now 22, will be sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on a date yet to be set.