Man jailed for total of 27 years for murder of Ricky Collins in Derbyshire town

The man who tracked down and murdered a dad of three over a bitter row has been jailed for life.

Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 5:40 pm

Bradley Ward, 24, of Frecheville, set out on the night of March 29 last year on a mission to find and stab Ricky Collins in the culmination of a feud from earlier that evening.

When Ward found the Sheffield dad waiting in his car in Killamarsh, he got out his vehicle, stabbed Ricky twice and made his escape.

Despite being rushed to hospital, Ricky died shortly after midnight on March 30. He was 31.

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Bradley Ward was jailed for 23 years.

At Derby Crown Court today (January 19), his killer was told what he did was “senseless” as he was jailed for life with a minimum term of 23 years.

His Honour Judge Robert Egbuna told Ward: “He was 31 years old when you tragically ended his life.

“This was a senseless killing. Your shocking behaviour was born out of anger.”

On the evening of the stabbing, a friend of Ricky’s, Mia Turner, was having a girls’ night with her friend Jamie-Leigh Jessop, the partner of the defendant, at an address in Killamarsh.

Ricky Collins was 31 when he was stabbed to death by Bradley Ward in the culmination of a bitter feud from earlier in the evening.

Shortly after 10pm, Ricky arrived at the address where he got into a confrontation with Miss Jessop.

During the trial, Mary Loram QC told the jury: “He (Mr Collins) did not like Miss Jessop, he believed she had been saying bad things about him behind his back.

“At the address he assaulted Jamie-Leigh Jessop, grabbed her by the hair, accusing her of bad mouthing him.”

Immediately afterwards, Miss Jessop called her partner, Ward, who then went out looking for Ricky armed with a knife.

Floral tributes in Killamarsh in memory of Ricky Collins. Ricky was stabbed twice while waiting in his car near the Snags Head pub.

He also transported with him Mia Turner and Ward’s 16-year-old brother, who both had to witness the murder soon afterwards.

Shortly afterwards, Ward found Ricky waiting in his car near to the Nags Head Pub on Westthorpe Street.

He got out his vehicle, stabbed Ricky in the arm and chest, and escaped.

Ricky appealed to a passerby for help and was rushed to hospital, but he died shortly after midnight.

Judge Egbuna said: “As Mia Turner poignantly and accurately said, despite his behaviour that night he did not deserve to die.

“He had three children – a son aged three and twins aged nine. They have lost their father and you have torn those lives apart.”

Meanwhile, Ward then went on the run for six days. He was collected from the Killamarsh area by his parents – David Ward, 44, and Kelly Ward 42, both from Sheffield – less than 20 minutes after the stabbing and stayed overnight at the house of a cousin, Martin Mongan, 45, of Pontefract.

Further, his parents later lied to the police about his whereabouts.

The three co-offenders later pleaded guilty to assisting an offender.

Ward handed himself in to police on April 5.

He denied murdering Ricky, claiming he acted in self defence, but this was rejected by a jury who found him guilty in December at the end of a three week trial.

In Derby Crown Court today, Ward was told he would spend a minimum of 23 years in prison.

He appeared over video link from prison, and sat slumped over for much of the hearing. He rarely looked up, instead resting his head on the table.

When he was handed his sentence, he said “23 man, I’ve got that”, stood up, and impatiently knocked on the interview room’s door to be let out while his family were sentenced.

The judge subsequently sentenced David Kelly and Martin Mongan for assisting an offender. Kelly Ward will be sentenced on January 26.

The judge ruled the two men knew Bradley Ward had committed a serious crime while harbouring him and played a major role in ensuring he evaded police for six days.

Judge Egbuna told David Ward: “You played significant role in orchestrating your son’s evasion of the police, arranging to collect him and have him stay at your cousin’s house.

“The assistance allowed the car used by the defendant to be hidden from the police and allowed time for Bradley Ward in my view to construct a defence.

“This offence is so serious it cannot be met with a suspended sentence.”

David Ward and Martin Mongan were both jailed for 24 months in prison.

It comes after Ricky’s family were forced to wait two extra days to see his killer go to prison following delays at the court on Monday.

On January 17, Ricky’s family faced Ward and his family in court to tell them how his actions continue to haunt them today.

Ricky’s partner, Sarah Gibson, stood in the dock to say the family would carry their grief “for the rest of their lives”.

“How do you put something so soul crushing into words?,” said the young mother.

“I am devastated – broken forever.

“The night Ricky was taken away from us will haunt me forever.”

She told the court their children painfully missed their father, and that she still could not bring herself to explain the reality of what happened to their youngest son.

“As a mother trying my best to keep our family together has been and always will be the hardest thing to do. My heart breaks every day but I know I have to stay strong for our children.

“All of the milestones as a family have been taken away from us. Every birthday, Christmas, every first day at school are broken forever.

“We will never forget him.”