Murdered child-killer stabbed 'unknown amount of times'

Footage shows the last movements of David Gaut before he was allegedly murdered by his neighbour. Picture: BBC/Gwent Police.

A convicted child killer was mutilated by his two alleged killers to an extent that investigators could not say exactly how many times he was stabbed, a court has heard.

David Gaut, 54, was allegedly held down on the floor of his neighbour's flat and repeatedly stabbed with knives leaving him with "gaping wounds" across his body.

David Osborne, 51, and co-accused Ieuan Harley, 23, are accused of murdering Mr Gaut just hours later after learning he had served over 32 years in prison for murdering 15-month-old Chi Ming Shek in 1985.

On Wednesday Newport Crown Court heard some of the injuries, at least 150 of which were delivered while he was alive and another 26 after his death, were so gruesome that pictures had deliberately been kept away from the jury.

Prosecutor Ben Douglas-Jones QC said Mr Gaut suffered grouped stab injuries across his body, as well as wounds to his skull, both eyes, his neck, and near his mouth.

He also said the tip of a knife had broken off into Mr Gaut's sternum after it was plunged into him.

Mr Douglas-Jones said: "He was stabbed so many times you can not tell how many times he has been stabbed in one place."

He added:

He was conscious and unable to move. He was held in one place.

The prosecutor said the stab wounds caused a "torrential haemorrhage" which led to Mr Gaut's death.

He said some photos of Mr Gaut's injuries had not been shown to the jury because they were "distressing".

Mr Douglas-Jones said Harley and Osborne used two knives, one which had later been cleaned and left on a draining board in Osborne's flat, to stab Mr Gaut while he was still alive, and a screwdriver after his death.

Mark Cotter QC, representing Osborne, said the evidence "falls short" of proving his client had attacked Mr Gaut.

He said there was no pathological evidence that Mr Gaut had been held down while he was stabbed, and pointed out a second knife which the prosecution say was used has never been found.

Harley declined to give evidence in court, but his barrister Caroline Rees QC told the court on Tuesday that he had been asleep in another room in Osborne's flat at the time Mr Gaut was killed.

Mr Douglas-Jones described Harley's claims that his clothes which were found saturated in Mr Gaut's blood had been stolen from him and used by someone else as "fanciful in the extreme".

Harley's left Reebok trainer was also matched up with a shoe print left in a pool of Mr Gaut's blood.

Prosecutors say attempts were then made to clean up the murder scene, dispose of bloodied clothing and set fire to a car to destroy incriminating evidence.

The jury heard that hours before Mr Gaut died on the night of August 2, 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.

Osborne, from Long Row, Elliots Town, New Tredegar and Harley, of no fixed address, deny the murder of Mr Gaut between August 1 and 4 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 Mr Gaut's murder on the direction of the judge.

-Press Association

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