A wealthy property developer murdered his gay lover when he pushed him in front of a bus after a row over their lap dog in an Indian restaurant, a court heard today.
Ian Chaundy, 48, is accused of shoving Paul Carscadden, 40, off a pavement in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, following ‘teasing and banter’ at around 11:30pm on a night in June 2011. Chaundy screamed ‘I killed him, I pushed him, I love him’, moments after Mr Carscadden was hit by a Stagecoach bus and killed instantly, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
The couple, who shared a £600,000 Georgian house in the town, had been on a night out with two male friends when they argued over their pet pooch. Alan Kent QC, prosecuting, said: ‘This is the case of a man in his early 40s, killed by his partner, the defendant, in what was undoubtedly a moment of madness he will regret for the rest of his life.
‘Paul Carscadden left the restaurant early. The defendant (Chaundy) did not want him to leave, so he followed him. The defendant told him they were only going to leave in 10 minutes so he should stay.
‘The friends they were out with had come all the way from Devon to come out with them, but Paul Carscadden wanted to leave to make sure the pet Beagle was OK. They argued, the defendant still did not want him to leave, but he did. The defendant pushed him, causing him to fall into the road, right in the path of an oncoming bus. He was killed almost instantly.’
The bus driver and onlookers called police and paramedics straight away. Chaundy ran back into the restaurant to get help and friends comforted him as he cried, Mr Kent told the court.
The court was told that Chaundy said: ‘I killed him, I killed him, I pushed him, I love him, I didn’t mean to kill him, I killed him. We were so happy, then we started arguing and I pushed him, I did it, I pushed him, he’s dead, I killed him.’
Mr Kent added that ‘a deliberate push by the defendant causing his partner to fall’ was caught on CCTV – but Chaundy, who stands 10 inches taller than Mr Carscadden, could not remember this. He said Chaundy told the police in interview that he couldn’t recall the push, but ‘assumed he did push him’, before later saying he didn’t ’specifically remember pushing him’.
The jury saw CCTV footage from a nearby tattoo parlour of the moment Chaundy is accused of pushing his lover of 10 years to his death. As the footage was shown Mr Carscadden’s family wept in the public gallery. Chaundy meanwhile – wearing a black suit, blue shirt and blue tie – stared at the floor.
It showed two men facing each other as cars passed along the road. One of the men started to walk past the other and was pushed into the road just at the bus appeared. The bus driver, Felicabella Marquez, tried to swerve to avoid hitting Mr Carscadden but he was killed instantly.
Ian Chaundy’s son, Hayden, 20, whom he fathered before he met Mr Carscadden, told the court the couple were ‘very loving’, although they had the ‘odd argument over petty little things’. He said: ‘They loved each other very much – I could tell that from the moment I met Paul. I lived with them for a year-and-a-half and my father and Paul were devoted to each other.’
Hayden told the court he had been with the couple on the night of the murder, when they had enjoyed a few drinks in the pub before heading to the Indian restaurant. He added: ‘Later on, just after the bill had arrived, Paul said he was going to go home and as he left the building, he turned the wrong way for the house. So I told my dad to go and get him.
‘It was only about 15 seconds later when he ran back in and said that Paul had gone under a bus. He was distraught. I went outside and saw Paul under the bus. Dad went away around the corner as he was in tears. One of the group told me Paul had died and I should go break the news to my dad, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell him that.’
A friend who had also been there that night, Dennis Leabrook, told the court he had seen Chaundy with his hand on the victim’s face when they were outside the restaurant. He said: ‘I had known them for many years each, they loved each other very much. They were just a brilliant, brilliant couple. Paul had a wicked sense of humour.
‘Paul used to like a drink, vodka and red wine normally, and Ian would sometimes frogmarch him out of the pub when it was time to go and Paul didn’t want to leave. That night we’d had a lovely evening, Paul left – I didn’t hear why – Ian followed him outside and I glanced them there in front of the window having a conversation.
‘They briefly disappeared and then came back and then I think I saw Ian’s hand on Paul’s chin, his hand across the front with a thumb one cheek and his fingers the other. I didn’t see them again until Ian came running in saying “Paul’s gone under a bus”. I took Ian and Hayden away because Ian was just beside himself with grief – he didn’t know what to do.’
Chaundy, who was on bail, denies murder and manslaughter. The trial continues.