CLOSING arguments have begun in the trial of a man accused of barging into the home of his ex-partner, grabbing her around the throat and stealing money.

Kyle Raybould, aged 24, of Railway Close, Pontypool, has denied robbing Kirstie Phillips, who is the mother of his daughter, on Friday, April 28 this year and has been standing trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

Last week the jury heard allegations Raybould had turned up at Ms Phillips' house in New Inn and pushed her to the ground, stealing cash from her pockets.

But, speaking today, Monday, Ben Waters, defending, said the prosecution's evidence was not enough to determine his client is guilty.

He also refuted the argument that Raybould's admission of using cannabis and cocaine was evidence he was guilty of the robbery, pointing out Ms Phillips had also admitted using cannabis.

"I am sure you won't convict this defendant, or even consider convicting this defendant on the basis he uses drugs," he said.

"The Crown say that is the motive, but Kirstie uses drugs and did not commit offences, so why must it be the case that he committed offences because he uses drugs?"

The court also heard Raybould has 12 previous convictions for theft, including three in the year leading up to the alleged attack.

But Mr Waters said this too could not be used as evidence of guilt, calling theft and robbery "completely different crimes".

Addressing the jury, he said: "You can't be sure that where the truth lies.

"You cant be sure whether the defence committed the offence of robbery, so for that reason we will invite you to return a verdict of not guilty."

But prosecutor Lawrence Jones called Raybould's defence "a smokescreen to cover his lies" and urged the jury to find him guilty.

Recorder Paul Hopkins urged the jury not to take this, or the fact that he has admitted using drugs, as a reason to convict Raybould.

"Just because the defendant has a history of drug abuse does not mean he acted in the way alleged," he said.

"Just because the defendant has previous convictions does not necessarily mean he is telling lies."

Mr Hopkins will conclude summing up the case tomorrow, Tuesday, before the jury begin their deliberations.