Ricky Collins was killed in March this year when Bradley Ward, of Frecheville, pulled up in a car alongside the Sheffield dad’s van in Killamarsh, got out and stabbed him.
The 31-year-old suffered two serious stab wounds to his body and arm before he staggered down the road and collapsed. He died in hospital just after midnight on March 30.
At Derby Crown Court today (January 17), his killer was due to receive a life sentence.
However, a series of complications meant proceedings had to be put back until Tuesday.
Ward, 24, could not be sentenced until a ‘fact-finding hearing’ was completed over the role his parents played in assisting him in the days after Ricky’s murder.
Ward’s parents – David Ward, 44, and Kelly Ward 42, both from Sheffield – as well another man, Martin Mongan, 45, of Pontefract, also all pleaded guilty to assisting an offender.
Kelly Ward was due to give evidence so the judge could rule at what point the killer’s family understood he had fatally stabbed Ricky.
However, proceedings at Derby Crown Court were interrupted after a fire alarm was sounded in the building.
The court later heard the alarm was maliciously activated by unknown offenders, causing delays to dozens of cases.
The hearing resumed several hours late, at 2pm.
In evidence, Kelly Ward claimed that although she and her husband had driven to collect Bradley Ward after the stabbing and had tried to protect him, she claims they were kept in the dark about the details for hours afterwards.
Prosecutor Adam Pearson posed that Mrs Ward knew her son had murdered Ricky and lied to the police.
Mrs Ward denied this, saying she hid her son to protect him from others seeking revenge.
Mr Pearson asked her: “What you were trying to protect him from when you were lying to the police was him being arrested for murder.”
Mrs Ward replied: "No. I didn’t know how serious it was.”
Martin Mongan gave evidence claiming he did not know Ward had stabbed anyone when he allowed him to stay at his house in the days after.
Bradley Ward was found guilty of murdering Ricky in December following a three-week trial.
Ward had previously pleaded not guilty to murder, claiming he had acted in self-defence.
The trial heard Ward reportedly went out looking for Ricky after the Sheffield dad had earlier that day assaulted a woman at an address.
Ward was phoned by the woman, who set out in his vehicle and met Ricky in his van near to the Nags Head pub on Westthorpe Road.
It was here Ward stabbed Ricky twice, who then staggered away and told a member of the public he had been stabbed before collapsing.
After the death, Ricky’s cousin, Bradley Beedham, said on Facebook: “My cousin, my brother, the man I looked up to as a kid.
“I love you Ricky, our family will never be the same without you. Give nannan a kiss for me.”