Two partygoers accused of 39-year-old's murder
TWO partygoers are accused of beating a man to death after getting into a fight at a house party just yards from the V Festival in Hylands Park.
Sam Martin, 25, from Westcliff and Clint Spearpoint, 34, from Rayleigh are charged with murdering Anton Jardin at a house in London Road, Chelmsford, on Saturday night, while thousands of high-spirited revellers partied at the music festival on the other side of the road.
The two men were remanded in custody at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday) to appear back in court on October 17.
On the night of the attack, police also arrested eight other men on suspicion of murder, and a 25-year-old woman from Hockley on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.
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They have all been released on police bail until various dates in September.
At the pair's first court hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, they both wore red trousers and jumpers.
In front of the sobbing family and friends of the victim and both defendants, prosecutor Shelley Deutsch said there had been a "big party" at the large, detached house on the A414, close to Rose's café.
She said: "There was a group of men who appeared to be body builders and the dead man had been invited to join them."
On the night, a substantial marquee took up most of the garden space.
The court heard that late in the evening, while The Stone Roses brought Saturday's V festival to a close, "fists were thrown" in an argument about finances.
At this point, it is thought that a number of men at the party tried to break the fight up and that Mr Jardin was punched in the head, Ms Deutsch told the court.
After being punched, Mr Jardin, a 39-year-old graphic designer from Rayleigh, fell back and hit his head, she said.
The incident happened just before midnight on August 18, but by the time an ambulance reached the scene Mr Jardin had died from head injuries.
The incident has shocked people who live on the quiet stretch of road.
One man, who lives in London Road, said: "It's such a quiet area around here, you don't expect this kind of thing to happen – although Chelmsford has had lots of bad things happen recently."
Mr Jardin's family paid tribute to a "loving and caring" son, brother and uncle.
In a statement they said: "Anton was a talented artist and graphic designer, full of enthusiasm for life.
"He loved fitness and sport, including running the London Marathon in 2010 in aid of a local children's hospice. He enjoyed travelling, especially a trip to Australia.
"We are devastated at losing him, words cannot express our loss; there is a hole in our lives which cannot be filled. He will be sorely missed by friends and family."