A convicted child killer was stabbed more than 150 times after being lured to his death by his next-door neighbour after he and two friends discovered his crime, a court heard.
David Gaut, 54, was allegedly murdered by neighbour David Osborne, 51, and his friends Ieuan Harley, 23, and Darran Evesham, 47, days after they learned he had served over 32 years in prison for murdering toddler Chi Ming Shek in 1985.
It is alleged that shortly before the murder on the evening of 2 August last year, two other neighbours heard Osborne say he wished to confront Gaut about his crimes, while an angry Harley wanted to “chop him up and put him down the plughole”.
Osborne then texted Gaut, who he knew as Dai, and asked: “Ok 4 me 2 come down 4 soon films day ozz.”
That message was the start of luring Gaut to Osborne’s flat where he would die, Newport Crown Court heard.
In a “brutal and gratuitously violent” attack with at least two weapons, prosecutors allege Gaut was stabbed more than 150 times while still alive, a further 26 times after he died and his fingernails were also cut off post-mortem.
After the killing, it is claimed the three men dragged Gaut’s body back to his flat and also attempted to clean up Osborne’s home, dispose of bloodied clothing and set fire to a car to destroy incriminating evidence.
Gaut’s body was discovered by police in his flat at Long Row in New Tredegar, Caerphilly, south Wales, two days later.
Ben Douglas-Jones QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “The prosecution says that Osborne triggered the murder by luring the deceased over to his house in the context of knowing that he was someone who had killed a child and that Mr Harley was so incensed by that that he wanted to cut him up and put him down the plughole.
“The three men were associating closely at a time when Mr Harley was becoming increasingly agitated and aggressive about Mr Gaut living at 1 Long Row.”
The main aggressor was Harley, which is why his clothing was covered in Gaut’s blood and why his hand print was in the deceased’s blood on the side of the bath, the court heard.
“By the moment Mr Gaut was invited over to 1 Long Row – at the latest – all three men intended to kill or at least do really serious harm to Mr Gaut,” Douglas-Jones said.
“All three participated in the murder – in that each of them, at a minimum, assisted or encouraged the commission of the crime.
“Each of them, by assisting in the stabbing, acted with the intention of causing really serious harm at least.”
The barrister warned the jury the trial could evoke “strong emotive feelings”.
“The murder was brutal and involved gratuitous violence,” he said.
“The deceased committed a vile offence himself. He did, however, serve over 32 years in prison.
“It is no part of your function or ours now to judge him. He was judged. He was sentenced.
“A murder carried out to punish someone is as much a murder as a murder carried out for no reason.”
The court heard that on the afternoon of 4 August, Gwent Police received a 999 call from a man reporting a conversation he had allegedly overheard the previous night between the three defendants.
Police went to Gaut’s flat and discovered his body, and a murder inquiry was launched.
Scientific examinations recovered evidence linking the defendants to the murder scene, the court heard.
Harley’s fingerprints were found in Gaut’s blood inside Osborne’s flat. The clothing recovered from the riverbank was also stained with Gaut’s blood and traces of Harley’s DNA was found on them as well.
Osborne, from Long Row, Elliots Town, New Tredegar; Harley, of no fixed address, and Evesham, of Powell’s Terrace, New Tredegar, all deny murdering Gaut between August 1 and August 4 last year.
Harley and Evesham also deny a charge of perverting the course of justice, which Osborne admits.
The trial continues.