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Man charged over Big Issue murders

February 04 2013
Homeless man remanded in prison awaiting trial


A homeless man has been arrested and charged with the murders of two Big Issue vendors in Birmingham City Centre on 11 January.

John Ward, 23, appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 16 January, and has been remanded in prison awaiting trial.

The attacks took place at a busy shopping street just before 6pm. Police officers and passers-by reportedly administered emergency first aid to Wayne Lee Busst, 32, and Ian Watson Gladwish, 31, both from Birmingham, but they were pronounced dead at the scene.

One man was found outside Sainsbury’s in Martineau Place, and the other near Boots in Union Street. Ward was arrested shortly afterwards near the Odeon cinema in New Street.

The attacks come as government statistics reveal a surprise drop in the number of violent crimes reported throughout the UK. Within the West Midlands, official figures of reported incidents involving knives have reduced by around 75 per cent over the past decade. This compares with an 11 per cent reduction nationwide over the past year.

However, the Office of National Statistics has admitted it cannot be certain whether crime has actually fallen or the incidents are simply not being recorded.