Newport teens cleared of assaulting youth

South Wales Argus: Newport teens cleared of assaulting youth Newport teens cleared of assaulting youth

THREE Newport teenagers were found not guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on another youth yesterday.

The teenagers were alleged to have attacked Jacob Dorrington, then 17, along with John Harding, 18, who admitted the attack.

But Arif Hail, 18, along with two youths who cannot be named, was cleared unanimously after a jury dismissed the claim they had ambushed Mr Dorrington and joined in an attack on him.

After the trial concluded, family said they had not doubted their children’s innocence for a second.

Mr Hail’s father, Nageeb Hail, 40, spoke of his relief.

He said: “We are feeling relieved right now. We have all been worried for our kids, when they were innocent.”

He was echoed by the mother of one of the youths who said: “We knew they were not guilty – the truth is out.”

Harding, 18, of Kipling Hill, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Jacob Dorrington on August 17 last year.

The victim was left with a broken nose, bloodied face and bruising to both eye sockets and his arms as well as other injuries, Newport Crown Court heard.

But as Mr Dorrington, now 18, walked home holding his top in his hand as it had allegedly been pulled off during the fight, two police officers in an unmarked car drove by.

They could see he was injured and took him to the city’s Royal Gwent Hospital.

During the trial Jonathan Rhys, prosecuting, alleged the other three had joined in the violence with one youth luring Mr Dorrington towards the ‘tin bridge’ near Cardiff Road in Gaer.

The court had heard that all the defendants accepted they were present when the assault took place but said they had only been bystanders.

One of the youths said he did not intervene in a fight between Harding and Mr Dorrington because it was “one on one”.

The Argus previously reported that giving evidence, Hail denied there being any plan to ambush Mr Dorrington saying they were not expecting to see him.

Hilary Roberts, defending one of the youths, pointed out it would have been difficult for the victim to identity who was attacking him if he was curled up on the ground and covering his face

The jury returned the not guilty verdicts after just over three hours of deliberations.

The public gallery was packed for much of the three day trial.

Harding is due to be sentenced after a pre-sentence report has been written.

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