Soldier kidnapped & attempted to murder comrade in love triangle rage, court told

© Andrew Winning
A serving British soldier kidnapped, bound and gagged a Household Cavalry trooper with cling film in an alleged murder attempt motivated by the victim’s relationship with the suspect’s estranged wife, a court has heard.

Reading Crown Court heard how Private John Watson carefully prepared to snatch Trooper James Dicks by threatening him with a knife, forcing him into the back of a car and eventually dumping his body in a grave he had asked a workman to dig at his barracks.

Dicks had his hands bound and head wrapped in cling film as part of the alleged attempt, which was carried out in a Windsor parking lot near where he was based.

The jury heard the former friends had fallen out after Dicks struck up a close friendship with Watson’s wife.

It was a bright and sunny morning when Mr Dicks walked from [Watson’s wife’s] home to the car park and as he approached his car he saw this defendant,” the prosecution told the court.

Mr Dicks knew Mr Watson very well. Mr Watson was the estranged husband of the girlfriend of Mr Dicks.

The court heard Watson pulled a knife and the two men tussled before Dicks was forced into the car.

Mr Watson drove the car a short distance to another parking spot in Windsor, Berks, where he continued his attack, wrapping cling film around Mr Dicks’ face and attacking him with a second knife which he had with him.

Lawyers said Dicks “managed to break his hands free of the cable ties and defended himself from being stabbed.

“Mercifully neighbors heard the struggle and the police had been called. They quickly attended and Mr Watson was arrested.”

Both of the men’s marriages had broken down but they remained in touch when Watson was posted to another base.

The prosecution said Watson’s feelings and expressions about the issue had become “dark and menacing in tone.

They were indicating not only that he was very far from reconciled to the new situation but that he was heartbroken and had violent thoughts as a result,” lawyers said.

Watson denies attempted murder and kidnapping, among other charges. The case continues.