Search

Gypsy wedding murderer handed life sentence

16:42 31 May 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 News Stories

Yesterday, 16:13
Ryan on the desert marathon

A man who ran five marathons in the Sahara Desert while secretly suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) is on a crowdfunding mission to raise £85,000 for life-saving treatment.

Yesterday, 13:43
Dutoit

Detectives are appealing for any more victims of paedophile David Dutoit to come forward, now he has been put behind bars for six years.

Yesterday, 12:40
Sally Hawkins in short film, The Phone Call.

A screening of 2015 Oscar winning short film The Phone Call, starring Jim Broadbent and Sally Hawkins, forms part of the 10th Smalls Film Festival which kicks off today.

Tue, 14:05
The Rose and Crown, Stoke Newington, built in 1930.

Two Hackney boozers are amongst 19 recognised nationally as shining examples of the inter-war years, when pubs were made bigger and better to leave behind an image of ‘drunkenness’ to attract more respectable customers including families and women.

Most read news

Competitions

Happy viewing!

MyOffers are giving you that chance to win an amazing Samsung 55” Curve HD TV.

Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hackney Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder