Pontypool men 'lied' over Halloween attack - court hears
12:29pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
THE trial of four Pontypool men accused of attacking two Hallowe'en party guests heard how the defendants told a series of lies to cover up their part in the "brutal attack".
Cardiff Crown Court yesterday heard evidence from three of the four defendants accused of attacking Mark Groves and Luke Jackson at a party in Pontypool on October 28 last year.
Joshua Mellor, 21, of Hillside Drive, Pontypool, denies common assault against Mr Jackson.
Ashley Jones, 20, of Ridgeway, Pontypool, denies assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Mr Jackson.
Gethin Lear, 21, of Penrith School Lane, Pontypool, Nicholas Beddis, 20, of Ferncroft Way, Pontypool, Jones and Mellor all deny wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm against Mark Groves.
The court previously heard from Mellor, who admitted hitting Mr Groves in the left eye, but claims he only did it because Mr Groves approached him in an aggressive manner and he feared he would be punched.
Yesterday the court heard from Lear, who said he tried to intervene but claims Mr Groves punched him in the side of the face, as he attempted to prevent them fighting.
Lear said as he was recovering from the first punch he saw Mr Groves was about to punch him again, and he retaliated and punched Mr Groves in the mouth in the kitchen of the house in Brynwern, Pontypool, on October 28.
Jones said he had tried to intervene between Mellor and Mr Groves, but claims Mr Groves' friend, Luke Jackson, put his hand on Jones' shoulder 'aggressively' and the pair ended up tussling.
Beddis, a former soldier with the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who was deployed to Afghanistan just two days after the attack, denies any involvement.
Beddis claimed he and Lear had been upstairs drinking, and when they returned they 'heard a commotion'.
He said: "We had all been enjoying ourselves, but when we went in the kitchen the atmosphere had changed and you could cut the tension with a knife."
Beddis claimed Mellor and Mr Groves were 'in each others faces' and when Lear tried to split it up Mr Groves punched him, while Jones and Mr Jackson were involved in a scuffle on the floor.
He said when Lear punched Mr Groves he fell and Mellor and Lear rushed out of the room, while Beddis grabbed Jones and followed.
Prosecution barrister Matthew Cobbe said Mellor, Leah and Beddis all stamped and kicked Mr Groves as he lay on the floor while Jones tussled with Mr Jackson, preventing him from helping his friend.
Mr Cobbe said: "It is the prosecution's case that these defendants have lied to you.
"This was a brutal attack by four of them, with three of them stamping and kicking Mr Groves, while Jones was involved in the attack upon Mr Jackson, preventing him from helping his friend."