A father of three was stabbed to death at his home in Pendine after an altercation with two neighbours, a jury heard today (Monday).

His killers immediately went on the run, it was alleged.

Simon Peter Clark, aged 54, was found dead on September 28 last year at his home on the Grove caravan park.

Jeffrey Stephen Ward, aged 41, lived in caravan number 12 and Steven Baxter, 52, occupied number eight. They both deny murder.

Paul Lewis QC, prosecuting, told Swansea crown court that the previous evening all three had been involved in an altercation.

"Both attacked Mr Clark and Baxter stabbed him," said Mr Lewis.

"They left him to die where he fell. Neither made the least attempt to give him medical help or raised the alarm. They both fled and went into hiding."

 Ward later told police he had been involved in a fight with Mr Clark but that Mr Clark was the aggressor.

Baxter appears to admit stabbing Mr Clark but in self defence while he was under attack, said Mr Lewis.

"But if neither of them did anything unlawful why did they flee the scene together? And why did they not seek medical help?
"They both avoided arrest for as long as they could."

Mr Clark lived in caravan number seven and had a girlfriend, Sarah Stockwell.

Baxter lived next door and he and his girlfriend were friends with Ward and his girlfriend, Julie Harris.

Harris also had a house in Clydach Vale, Tonypandy, which would feature in the case.

On September 27 Miss Stockwell visited Mr Clark. She thought Ward was glaring at her and told Mr Clark, who said to her, "I don't know what his problem is."

He then shouted insults towards Ward.

Miss Stockwell left about 6.30pm. 

Mr Clark telephoned a friend, Stanley Mann, at 7.32pm and, said Mr Lewis, must have been fatally stabbed very soon afterwards.

He told the jury there were no independent witnesses to what happened or any CCTV footage.

But it was possible for the prosecution to say that a short while later Ward drove to a restaurant in Laugharne where his girlfriend Harris was working. 

"She left in a panic," said Mr Lewis.

She collected both men and drove them away from Pendine.

Her car was filmed on the A40 near St Clears and by 9.43pm was filmed on the M4 near Swansea.

"Why were they heading away from Pendine at such speed?," asked Mr Lewis.

Harris drove them to the home of Phil Powell in Glynneath. Baxter had a wound to his arm and explained that he and Ward had been involved "in a stupid fight."

Shortly after midnight Harris drove back to the caravan park in Pendine. A resident told police he saw a black van arrive and he thought Ward was the driver, and Harris was driving her Ford Focus.

"If Ward and Harris did return they still made no attempt to help Mr Clark who by then was either dead or dying," said Mr Lewis.

The jury was told that Harris had already admitted perverting the course of justice.

Later that morning Baxter was seen wearing a different top to the one he had had on the night before.

"Did Ward get it for him from Pendine?"

Mr Lewis said despite already having mobile telephones Baxter and Ward got a lift into Bridgend where they bought an off the shelf mobile.

Later, Mr Powell dropped the two men off at a lay-by on Rhigos Mountain, where they were collected by a friend, Mansel Edwards.

"He asked them what was happening and Baxter told him, 'Oh man, don't ask. Things have gone t**s up.'"

A short while later he noticed that Baxter had a sheath knife. When he again asked what was happening Baxter said, "You don't want to know."

Later he told another friend they had been in a fight but did not mention anyone stabbing Mr Clark.

Mr Edwards was the key holder of a boxing club in Tonypandy and he let Ward and Baxter "hide out there for the night."

By then, said Mr Lewis, Mr Clark's body had been discovered.

He was lying face down with his body inside the door of the caravan and his legs outside. 

He was holding a thin, hollow, metal pipe, possibly from the frame of a tent or greenhouse.

"It weighed no more than two ounces..not the most formidable of weapons."

A pathologist determined that he had died from a single stab to his heart.

Mr Lewis said material found under Mr Clark's fingernails featured Ward's DNA.

Ward was arrested a few days later hiding in the attack of the home of a friend, Ian Evans, in St Clears.

In rather comic fashion, said Mr Lewis, he fell through the ceiling and into the room below as police officers searched for him.

During interviews Ward said Mr Clark had begun "screaming and shouting" and had punched him in the face, before Ward got the better of him. Baxter arrived on the scene but he went back inside his caravan and Mr Clark had walked away.

Minutes later, said Ward, Baxter appeared covered in blood.

He drove to Laugharne and on the way Baxter asked him to stop. He got out holding "an item" wrapped in a T shirt and got rid of whatever it was.

"The murder weapon has never been found," said Mr Lewis.

Baxter stayed on the run for a month after the killing before being arrested on Maros beach.

He told police he had stabbed Mr Clark in self defence.

The trial is expected to last for three weeks. The jury will be taken to the caravan park, probably on Monday, to view the scene for themselves.

Both defendants deny murder and the trial continues.