A Ramsgate man has been jailed for nine years after causing another man’s death by throwing a knife at him through a car window.
The blade severed an artery in victim Michael ‘Archie’ Ward’s leg, which led to his collapse on the evening of Sunday 18 June 2017 and sparked an investigation by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.
John Buchanan, 22, of St John’s Crescent, handed himself in at Margate Police Station five hours after the incident, where he was arrested and later charged with 40-year-old Mr Ward’s murder.
He denied the charge but was found guilty of manslaughter following a week-long trial at Canterbury Crown Court last month. His sentencing was adjourned until today (16 February).
The jury heard how Mr Ward had driven to an address in St John’s Crescent that day to speak to someone. Aware that Mr Ward was about to visit the house, Buchanan armed himself with a kitchen knife and threatened to stab him. The pair were known to one another and 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.
The victim retreated to his vehicle but Buchanan opened the front door of the house with the knife in his hand and continued to shout at Mr Ward.
Mr Ward 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 and he was declared dead at the scene just after 6pm.
Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Tristan Kluibenschadl said: “Michael Ward, known to his friends as Archie, is sorely missed by his family and friends and that is 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 seven-inch kitchen knife. He showed little remorse or concern for Mr Ward’s welfare following the attack and did not seem to care that the whole thing had played out in front of families, including children, who were gathered in the street.
‘”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.”