Man remanded over Big Issue murders
A man has appeared in court charged with murdering two Big Issue sellers who were stabbed in a city centre street.
John Ward, of no fixed address, was remanded in custody until Wednesday after making a two-minute appearance before a district judge at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.
The 23-year-old was charged with the murders of Wayne Lee Busst and Ian Watson-Gladwish by West Midlands Police on Sunday.
Mr Busst, 32, and Mr Watson-Gladwish, 31, both from Birmingham, died on Friday evening after a double stabbing in the Union Street area.
Passers-by and police officers administered first aid to the two men, but both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Ward, wearing a dark blue T-shirt, spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth during the hearing and was ordered to appear at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday.
In a statement issued at the weekend, John Bird, the founder of the Big Issue magazine, offered his condolences to the families of both victims.
Mr Bird said: "Myself and everyone at the Big Issue have been deeply saddened to hear the tragic news that two of our well-liked Birmingham-based vendors were stabbed to death in the city centre.
"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.
"We are truly devastated that these two individuals have been deprived of just such a future."