Man Denies Blaming His Friend For Child-Killer Vigilante Murder

David Gaut served 32 years for killing a toddler.
Murdered toddler Chi Ming Shek and a court artist sketch of the men accused in relation to the killing David Gaut: (l-r) David Osborne, Ieuan Harley, and Darran Evesham, during their trial at Newport Crown Court
Murdered toddler Chi Ming Shek and a court artist sketch of the men accused in relation to the killing David Gaut: (l-r) David Osborne, Ieuan Harley, and Darran Evesham, during their trial at Newport Crown Court
Rex Features

A man has denied trying to blame his friend for murdering his next-door neighbour after learning he was a convicted child killer, a court heard.

David Osborne, 51, said he was “tamping” – Welsh slang for “angry” – when he found out David Gaut, 54, had murdered toddler Chi Ming Shek, but denied he had then lured him to his flat and stabbed him.

Osborne and co-accused Ieuan Harley, 23, are on trial accused of killing Gaut after learning he had served more than 32 years in prison for murdering the 15-month-old in 1985.

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 during the alleged attack in Osborne’s flat.

It is alleged his body was dragged back to his home and attempts were made to clean up the murder scene, dispose of bloodied clothing and set fire to a car to destroy incriminating evidence.

The jury at Newport Crown Court heard that hours before Gaut died on the night of 2 August, his neighbours in Long Row, New Tredegar, discovered he had not been to prison for murdering a soldier but had in fact killed a child.

Forensic officers at the scene of Gaut's death
Forensic officers at the scene of Gaut's death
HuffPost UK

Asked about his reaction to discovering the truth, Osborne replied: “Tamping.”

He added: “Thinking in my head that I had been bothering with someone who done something like that to a boy.”

Osborne told the court he was in his kitchen when he heard an argument between Harley and Gaut in the living room.

“Then I heard Harley call David a paedophile and I heard a sharp intake of breath and a knife going in and realised then that someone had been stabbed,” he said.

Caroline Rees QC, representing Harley, asked: “Are you lying about what happened because you have said something different in court than what you told the police in interview?”

Osborne replied: “No.”

Rees said: “Ieuan Harley did not stab Mr Gaut.”

Osborne replied: “Yes he did.”

Rees suggested Harley had not killed Gaut and had instead gone to bed – leaving Osborne with Gaut, who at that point was still alive.

“Are you saying it was Ieuan Harley to cover up for someone else and blaming Mr Harley for something someone else did?” Rees asked.

“Are you lying about Ieuan Harley to avoid taking the blame for something you did?

“Did you take Ieuan Harley’s clothes and give them to someone else? Did anybody else use those clothes to clean up the blood on the floor from Mr Gaut?”

Osborne replied: “No.”

Rees asked: “Was it that you had decided you wanted to confront Mr Gaut because of what you had heard he had done. Did you want Mr Gaut to be harmed because of his past?”

Osborne replied: “No.”

Osborne, from Long Row, Elliots Town, New Tredegar and Harley, of no fixed address, deny the murder of Gaut between 1-4 August last year.

Harley and Darran Evesham, 47, from Powell’s Terrace, New Tredegar, also deny perverting the course of justice, which Osborne admits.

Evesham had earlier been acquitted of Gaut’s murder on the direction of the judge.