A young man bled to death after he was stabbed in the neck with a champagne flute by a one-eyed father at a cocktail bar in Lancashire, a court has heard.
Jason Taylor, 23, was enjoying a night out with his girlfriend when he was suddenly grabbed by 44-year old Jack Costello moments after the victim had a brief exchange of words with another man at the bar, it was said.
Costello initially put his left arm around Mr Taylor’s neck as if to speak to him but then bit down on the victim’s ear before pulling him towards the floor.
As onlookers tried to pull him away he then adjusted the grip he had on a glass flute and allegedly thrust it into Mr Taylor’s neck.
Jason Jay-Jay Taylor, 23, bled to death after he was stabbed in the neck with a champagne flute by a one-eyed father at a cocktail bar in Lancashire (Picture: Cavendish Press)
The victim, who had not been causing any trouble, backed away but collapsed outside the venue bleeding heavily from a neck wound.
He died in hospital nine hours later with tests showing he suffered a fatal injury to his jugular vein.
At Preston Crown Court CCTV was played to the jury of the 2am tragedy last January 27 as Costello went on trial charged with murder.
The jury was told Mr Taylor – known as JayJay – had been playing ten-pin bowling with his friends before going to the Esco-Bar in Darwen, Lancs to meet his girlfriend.
Costello had been at a party at a local Conservative club to celebrate his son Dylan’s 21st birthday before going to Esco-bar with his partner Sharon Kitchin and her nephew Kayle Smith, 30.
The jury was told trouble began after Mr Taylor allowed a girl at the club Zoe Broadhurst in front of him to be served.
Jack Costello initially put his left arm around Mr Taylor’s neck as if to speak to him but then bit down on the victim’s ear before pulling him towards the floor (Picture: Cavendish Press)
Mr Jacob Dyer prosecuting said: ‘The bar was busy and JayJay was waiting to be served and whilst doing so he spoke to Zoe as they used to be friends of friends on Facebook.
‘At the other side of the bar Kayle Smith appeared behind him and leaned over Jay Jay and said to her: ‘Aren’t you too good to be talking to him?’
Jay Jay looked uncomfortable and Zoe asked what did he mean. She then took her drinks and thanked JayJay for letting her in to be served at the bar.
Jay Jay and Kayle exchanged words and then Kayle head butted JayJay. JayJay did not appear to be overly concerned by that and other than a smile at him, Jay-Jay did not react and appeared to be calm.’
‘Sharon Kitchin put her hand on Kayle’s shoulder to separate them and asked him what was wrong but he said something like ‘he’s being a dick’.
Mr Dyer continued: ‘He then spoke to Jack Costello who at the time had hold of a champagne flute in his left hand. He had ordered champagne to celebrate his sons 21st birthday and was provided with glass champagne flutes.
‘After speaking with Kayle, he transferred the flute to his right hand, strode past him and put his left arm around JayJay’s neck to draw him in as if to speak to him. He then opened his mouth and clamped down Jay Jay’s right ear and pulled him down towards the floor with his teeth clamped on his ear for six seconds.
‘Others tried to pull him away and Sharon Kitchin appears to slap the defendant to the face but he then adjusted the grip of the glass to prepare to attack. He had gripped JayJay’s jacket near to the shoulder to position himself then thrust the glass into the left side of his neck, causing the glass to shatter and causing a deep cut which immediately started to bleed.
Jason died in hospital nine hours later with tests showing he suffered a fatal injury to his jugular vein (Picture: Cavendish Press)
‘As JayJay is backing away, the defendant was restrained but started throwing the remains of the glass at Jay Jay and it appears to be the stem of the glass which has shattered. He then lunged at him again, throwing punches and is then taken to the back door by the doorman.
‘This was an unprovoked attack by the defendant on Jay Jay. Before he attacked there was no trouble.
‘He changed the flute into his right hand and pulled down on Jay Jay, adjusting his grip on the glass before thrusting it into his neck. He was shouting at him and continued his attack. He then threw the remnants of the glass at JayJay and lunged at him again. He intended really serious harm.
‘The blow from the glass caused a deep cut that severed the jugular vein and JayJay suffered a catastrophic loss of blood. Those involved can be easily identified despite the bar being busy. The defendant himself has one eye.’
Catherine Hunter, licensee at Esco-Bar which has since closed down, wept as she told the hearing: ‘Jack Costello had had a drink but he wasn’t drunk and he ordered champagne. We usually use plastic after 12 midnight – but he ordered an expensive bottle of champagne so we gave him Prosecco glasses.
‘I carried on serving customers then heard a headbutt between two people. I saw Kayle with a really aggressive face and I said: ‘What you doing’ whilst JayJay was just laughing it off. I asked the barman to get a doorman to make sure there was no trouble but Kayle was just circling Jay Jay and Sharon was getting between them.
‘Kayle then moved away and spoke to Jack Costello. I saw he had done something and saw the doorman pull him away but wasn’t aware at that time what had happened.
‘Some people went outside to where JayJay had collapsed whilst police officer said that we needed to remove everybody. I saw broken glass on the floor.’
The attack happened at Esco-Bar in Darwen, Lancashire (Picture: Google Maps)
Barman James Hilton said: ‘I saw Jay Jay and some other guy and didn’t think much of it at the time but I noticed Jack Costello grabbing hold of him and biting him on the ear.
‘Not long after that I heard some sort of glass break and saw him lunge forward and he then started throwing bits of glass and his hand struck him in his neck. I could his name ‘Jack’ being called – he looked angry, aggressive.
‘JayJay was backing away and he walked out and he just had hold of his neck.’
In a statement Miss Broadhurst told the hearing: ‘I stood next to JayJay but he could see I was waiting to be served. He asked me if my name was Zoe and. I was shocked because I hadn’t lived here since I was a little girl.
‘He said we used to be friends through friends in Facebook. A man in a pattern shirt then leaned over him and said “aren’t you too good to be talking to him.”. JayJay looked uncomfortable and I didn’t know what to say. I just said “he’s just a friend, what do you mean”.
‘I must have ordered my drinks as they were handed to me and I said thank you to Jay Jay for letting me in before him.
‘I remember walking away from Jay Jay and the man in the patterned shirt at the bar. A few moments later I remember seeing yellow, and the police came and started ushering people outside. It’s important to make it clear that JayJay didn’t react at all.’
The court heard Mr Taylor left the club after the attack but collapsed leaving trail of blood along the street. He was taken to Royal Preston Hospital where he died at 11am in intensive care.
Costello, from Rishton, handed himself in to a police station at 3.30pm on January 29 accompanied by his solicitor. He made no comment in interview.
He denies murder but admits manslaughter and is expected to argue the glass was thrown at Mr Taylor.
The trial continues.