Gypsy wedding murderer handed life sentence

PUBLISHED: 16:42 31 May 2013 | UPDATED: 10:27 10 June 2013

A Traveller who stabbed the bride’s brother to death at a gypsy wedding in The Glyn Arms pub in Homerton, Hackney, after years of “bad blood” between the two clans was jailed for at least 23 years.

Martin ‘Marty’ Ward, 24, plunged a carving knife into Thomas ‘Tommy’ Lawrence’s torso four times, severing his aorta.

Mr Lawrence, 28, was left lying in the gutter after the attack outside the Glyn Arms, a popular watering hole for travellers in Mandeville Street, Homerton on October 27 2011.

The father-of-four received emergency surgery but could not be saved, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

The former binman of Abersham Road, Dalston, denied murder, insisting he “lost control” and was acting in self-defence, claiming it was an “obligation” to confront his rival or “repercussions would flow”.

Several witnesses including bar staff said Irish-born Ward, who is one of 11 children,

looked “scary” when he arrived at the traditional giving away ceremony the day following the wedding of Sharon Lawrence to a man also called Martin Ward, unconnected with the case.

Sentencing him to life for murder, Judge William Kennedy said: “You are a young man coming to terms with a culture where spontaneous violence often replaces reasoned argument and having to learn the boundaries of violence anticipated in those circumstances.

“On the other hand…. this was instead a series of deadly blows struck in fury and revenge against an unarmed and unsuspecting opponent.’

The jury failed to reach a verdict during the first trial in November, and a second trial collapsed last month when the prosecutor fell ill.

A third jury convicted Ward of murder by a majority verdict of 10-2.

Ward, who left school illiterate aged 10 was jailed for four years for being part of a gang believed to be responsible for almost half of Britain’s caravan thefts from 2004 to 2007.

Latest Hackney Stories

Yesterday, 21:45

A murder investigation has been launched after a 42-year-old man was found with multiple stab injuries in Homerton this morning.

Yesterday, 17:57

It has been confirmed an Arsenal legends team have been invited to take part in a prestigious charity match against Real Madrid this summer.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

National League: Eastleigh 0 Leyton Orient 0

Saturday, March 17, 2018

FA Cup quarter-finals: Swansea City 0 Tottenham Hotspur 3

Saturday, March 17, 2018

I have written today to the chief executives of the Environment Agency and the Canal and River Trust having seen little in the way of effective action from either of these agencies to tackle the oil spill on the River Lea, writes Cllr Ian Rathbone, Lea Bridge ward.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The 46-year-old elaborated on his thoughts that it takes a long-term process to breed a winning mentality rather than one successful domestic cup run

Friday, March 16, 2018

Arsenal have encouraged supporters to follow advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office after they were drawn to play CSKA Moscow in the Europa League.


To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists