Mother of carpenter, 50, hacked to death at a KFC drive-thru reveals how she held him in his final moments after he was covered with a blanket and a pillow was put under his head
- EXCLUSIVE: Kelvin Ward’s mother Christine says he made the ‘ultimate sacrifice’
A heartbroken mother of a man hacked to death by a gang armed with machetes in broad daylight outside KFC says she held him as his life ebbed away.
Christine Ward held son Kelvin after he was murdered trying to stop the thugs from killing their intended target – his teenage son.
Chilling footage showed 50-year-old Mr Ward being ambushed and chased by the masked group holding up machetes and zombie knives as he desperately tried to fend them off.
Fighting back tears, Mrs Ward, 78, told MailOnline how moments after that footage she was told by one her grandsons that Kelvin, a carpenter, had been knifed.
She said: ‘I jumped in his car and I thought he was taking me to hospital but he drove me to where it happened. Police were everywhere, but the officers let me through the cordon.
Christine Ward holds a photograph of her son Kelvin (left) at her home in Birmingham
Kelvin Ward (left) being swung at by an attacker with a machete on April 18 2023 – moments later, he suffered a fatal wound to the heart
Kelvin Ward, 50, died after the savage attack in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham – of which the original target had been his son
‘It was dark at that point, I couldn’t see any blood or anything like that. But I knelt down to where he was laid out and noticed someone had covered him partially with a blanket and had put a pillow underneath his head.
‘I held his hand, kissed his face over and over and whispered in his ear to wake up because he looked like he was sleeping.
‘I was telling him “Come on now, get up and stop making a scene” because I didn’t want to believe he had gone.
READ NEXT: Moment father, 50, protects his son as they are ambushed by gang armed with machetes and zombie knives at a KFC drive-thru before being fatally stabbed
‘But a police officer guided me away from his body and said that forensics needed to keep the area around the body clear.
‘It was the worst moment any mother could ever go through. It was horrific.’
Kelvin died trying to protect his son, 19, who cannot be named. The teenager had been friends with the gang members, but they had fallen out.
Coventry Crown Court heard in April this year the gang of four followed him as he drove with his father to a KFC drive-thru in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham.
As they went to leave, the gang smashed a stolen Ford Kuga into their Vauxhall Corsa in the car park of the fast-food chain.
Mr Ward’s son managed to drive off and then fled on foot. His father jumped into the gang’s Kuga and drove in the direction his son had run off in.
He aimed the vehicle at one of the gang – but missed and crashed into the railings on the side of the road.
Two of the gang were then caught on CCTV stabbing Mr Ward in the middle of the road.
Emergency services rushed to the scene but nothing could be done to save him despite the efforts of medics.
A major police investigation revealed Mr Ward’s son had been friends with some of the attackers, but they had fallen out, leading to Mr Ward’s family home being attacked in the days before the killing.
Leighton Williams (left), 28, and Tyrone Hollywood (right), 17, were found guilty of murdering Kelvin Ward
Aaron Coates (left) and Rusharn Williams-Reid (right), both 18, were found guilty of conspiracy to murder Kelvin Ward’s son. Coates was also found guilty of manslaughter
West Midlands Police released footage of Leighton Williams being arrested for murdering Kelvin Ward
Williams (pictured being arrested), Hollywood, Coates and Williams-Reid will be sentenced in January
The four thugs – Tyrone Hollywood, Leighton Williams, Rusharn Williams-Reid, and Aaron Coate – were all jailed.
Hollywood, 17, and Williams, 28, were convicted of murder. Coates, 18, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter. Williams-Reid, 18, was cleared of murder and manslaughter.
All four were found guilty of conspiracy to murder Mr Ward’s son. Sentencing is due to take place in January next year.
Speaking from her home in Birmingham, Mrs Ward said: ‘I haven’t been able to watch the footage of my son’s last moments. It would break my heart.
‘I keep asking myself why it happened. I still don’t know.
‘My grandson had been friends with some of the gang members and they used to hang around together.
‘But there had been a dispute between them and he wanted away from them. I don’t think he wanted to be associated with them any more because of their violence and the trouble they caused.
‘My grandson is heartbroken and feels guilty for what happened. I feel so sorry for him because his life has been torn apart.
‘He goes and spends time at his dad’s grave every day, no matter what the weather.
‘Kelvin made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting his son but his family meant everything to him. I always taught him to defend himself with his fists and that’s what he did. Knives are for cowards.’
Mr Ward seen walking to his son’s Vauxhall Corsa at the KFC drive thru moments before the gang struck
Moments later the gang rammed the car using a stolen Ford Kuga crossover and chased Mr Ward’s teenage son on foot
Terrifying footage released by West Midlands Police showed the moments before Mr Ward was fatally stabbed through the heart by his killers
Mrs Ward – a retired cook for the Territorial Army – brought up Kelvin and his older brother David as a single mum when she split with their Barbados-born father in the early 1970s.
She said her youngest son had forged a successful career in the building trade and lived in Coleshill in Warwickshire with Tammy McKenzie, his partner of some 30-years, and their son.
The couple have two older daughters aged 28 and 24.
Mrs Ward said the last time she saw her son was on March 19th when he and brother David, 55, gave her some flowers for Mother’s Day.
Clutching a photo of that day showing her grinning with her two sons, she said: ‘It was a special day, I didn’t know it then but it would be the last time I would ever see him.
‘I actually spoke to him some 15 minutes or so before he died, he’d called me on the phone and said he was at a KFC waiting for some food but would be over that weekend to see me. That day will never come.
‘Kelvin wasn’t an angel by any stretch of the imagination but he was a loveable rogue. He was the life and soul of the party and would light up any room straight away.
‘He loved to joke around and had mischievous smile and infectious laugh.’
In a tragic twist, Mrs Ward revealed how her son had tried to help some of his killers escape a life of crime just two years earlier.
He had offered to find them jobs and urged them to stop ‘hanging around street corners’.
Police at the scene of the murder in April this year. Mr Ward had chased down his son’s would-be attackers in an attempt to protect him
His son’s damaged Vauxhall Corsa sitting in the middle of the road close to where Mr Ward was killed
The stolen Ford Kuga that was used to ram Mr Ward’s son’s car at the KFC drive thru is taken away on a flatbed lorry for examination
Mrs Ward, 78, said: ‘Kelvin knew some those who would end up being involved in his death and had tried to actually help them.
‘They were hanging around with his son at the time and about two years ago, he told them: “Look, you don’t have to keep getting in trouble and hanging around street corners. I’ll help you to get work when you’re ready.”
‘They were teenagers and coming up to either leaving school or going to college but he wanted to help them and stop them slipping into crime.
‘Kelvin had been a bit of a tearaway in his youth but he turned his life around – he wanted to do the same for them.
‘But how did they repay him? By butchering him in the street.’
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