Partygoers who saw a fatal attack on a dad-of-two at a star-studded party desperately tried to stem the flow of blood using their fingers and sheets of clingfilm, a court heard.
Phillip Sherriff, 37, from Scorton, near Preston, was slashed with a broken bottle after jostling with media executive Ashley Charles, 26, at the free event attended by celebrities including the singer Jessie J, the Old Bailey heard.
The victim’s carotid artery and jugular vein were severed by the blow and he died in hospital four days later.
Tim Chase, one of the 1,500 guests at the BlackBerry party at Pulse nightclub on London’s South Bank, saw the two men arguing at around midnight on April 4 this year.
“The victim had his phone out and was messing about,” he said. “It seemed like it was a petty little argument between two friends, perhaps over a picture on the phone or a text or something.
“I turned around and continued my conversation and then heard a slappy cracky noise – to me it sounded like a plastic glass being hit.
“I saw a massive gash in the victim’s neck with blood streaming out of it.
“I put my hand on it, putting pressure, but no matter what we did it didn’t stop so I stuck my fingers in the hole in his neck and that’s what stemmed it.” Another partygoer, Mark Weyman, then asked the bar staff for some clingfilm. He said: ‘I administered first aid by tying plastic around the victim’s neck to stem the flow of blood.’
Mr Weyman had earlier tackled Charles to the ground moments after the attack on Mr Sherriff. “He was heading towards me, he had a complete look of panic on his face. I was in no doubt the guy staggering away had assaulted the guy who was bleeding.
“I grabbed the suspect and got him to the ground. The bouncers approached me and I explained the guy I was holding had just bottled the other guy.” One of the partygoers who witnessed the attack was Laura Taylor, a journalist.
Miss Taylor told the Old Bailey she was waiting for her friend to collect her coat when she heard a bottle smash.
“I just turned around towards the bar and I saw the bottle hit him in the neck. There was a lot of blood,’ she added. “I remember thinking ‘’There’s too much blood.’’ He was just in shock. He was staring forward holding his neck. Then someone came and put his hand on his neck.
“It all happened very quickly.” Mr Sheriff, who was a manager for Blackberry, had travelled from his home to attend the party and was due to stay the night at the nearby Holiday Inn Express in Southwark.
Jessie J had already performed at the event and people were collecting their coats to leave when the attack took place at around 12.01am.
Charles, of Nevanthon Road, Leicester, denies murder.