Homeless man charged with double killing

Jan. 15, 2013 at 12:09 AM

BIRMINGHAM, England, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- A homeless man appeared in court Monday in Birmingham, England, charged with killing two sellers of The Big Issue, a newspaper sold by the homeless.

John Ward, 23, was ordered held pending a hearing Wednesday in Crown Court, the Evening Standard reported.

Wayne Busst, 32, and Ian Watson-Gladwish, 31, were stabbed Friday in front of a supermarket in center city Birmingham, The Guardian reported. Ward was arrested nearby within minutes of the killings.

John Bird, who founded The Big Issue, called the killings "utterly senseless."

"This awful crime, perpetrated against two hardworking, mild-mannered men, only serves to illustrate the extreme vulnerability of people who live and work on the streets, which is why we at The Big Issue are constantly striving to create opportunities which will help our vendors to get off the streets and out of harm's way," he said.

The families of the two victims released statements through West Midlands Police describing their grief and asking for privacy.

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