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Pub killer to appeal to clear his name

PUBLISHED: 14:44 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:26 25 August 2010

A MAN jailed for the alleged murder of a Christmas Eve reveller has mounted an Appeal Court bid to clear his name.

A MAN jailed for the alleged murder of a Christmas Eve reveller has mounted an Appeal Court bid to clear his name.

Thu Van Nguyen, 32, of Kings Court, Queens Road West, Upton Park was jailed for life at the Old Bailey in October 2006 after he was convicted of murdering Billy Gregory, 23.

The prosecution claimed Mr Gregory had two vital arteries severed when Nguyen attacked him in the toilets of the Earl of Chatham pub, in Woolwich, in December 2005.

The two men had argued in the pub earlier that night resulting in fatal bloodshed when the pair later encountered each other in the toilets.

The prosecution were unable to pinpoint exactly how the violence sparked off but claimed Mr Gregory died after Nguyen thrust a pint glass into his neck causing a 5.5 centimetre-deep wound.

He collapsed outside the pub, and although medics at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich managed to repair the hacked artery, he died of his injuries on Christmas Day.

Nguyen - who is of Vietnamese origin but has spent 10 years in the UK - is now challenging the "safety" of his murder conviction at London's Criminal Appeal Court.

His QC, Edward Rees, argued that the trial judge should have prevented the jury from hearing potentially prejudicial evidence because of its "adverse effect on the fairness of the proceedings".

The case against Nguyen over the Earl of Chatham attack was "far from overwhelming", the QC argued and the evidence might have had a pivotal impact on the verdict.

After extensive legal argument, judgement was reserved and a ruling on the appeal will be given at a later date.

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