Man from Bettws was murdered by two men from Newport, court told
8:02am Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in Gwent news
A NEWPORT man died from an “unsurvivable brain injury”, a jury heard in a murder trial which started at Newport Crown Court yesterday.
Calvin Wall and Shaun Walker are jointly charged with the murder of 45-year-old Barry Thomas after a dispute over a moped. Both deny the charge.
The former Bettws High School pupil was taken to hospital after being assaulted in Methuen Road, Maindee, Newport, on June 2 this year, and pronounced dead of a “fatal and catastrophic brain haemorrhage” two days later, said prosecutor Elwen Evans.
Addressing the jury of 12 men and women in court yesterday afternoon, she said Mr Thomas was the victim of a “vicious assault”.
Ms Evans also described how Wall, 46, and Walker, 19, fled the scene of the alleged attack before stopping at a McDonald’s in Droitwich on their way to the West Midlands.
In her opening statement she told the court: “We say that they murdered him. That the intent was, at the least, to cause really serious injury, and that it was a murderous intent.”
She outlined some of the evidence to be heard over the two- week trial, and said Wall, of Walsall Street, Newport, and Walker, of Newman Close, had visited Methuen Road on June 2 over the sale of a moped by the Peart family, with whom Barry Thomas was friends.
As the deal was being finalised that evening, Mr Thomas jokingly tapped Wall on the shoulder with a pen, but as witnesses Stuart, Celia and Susan Peart described, Wall took offence at this and “got into a temper”.
Ms Evans told the court that Wall shouted at Walker to “beat him up”.
“Barry Thomas was then punched twice to his forehead with great force, according to Stuart Peart. He described it as sounding like ‘boom, boom’. Stuart said he saw Mr Thomas being kicked forcibly in the gut by both men while he was on the ground.
“It was clear he was badly hurt,” the court heard.
Another witness, Monirul Islam, said Mr Thomas had pleaded for Wall and Walker to stop, Ms Evans added.
“Mr Thomas was bleeding after the first punch, and tried to shield his head with his arms while shouting ‘no,no’, but Walker again punched him to the forehead, knocking him to the ground,” she said.
“In his view (Mr Islam’s), Barry Thomas did not offer any violence and did nothing to deserve the vicious attack to which he was subjected.”
Wall was reported to have said after the incident: “He deserved it”.
Wall and Walker were arrested at a services in Ystrad Mynach the next morning.
In police interview, Walker admitted fighting Mr Thomas, and said he had butted him for jabbing the pen at Wall aggressively. Wall denied fighting at all and said he merely intervened by dragging Walker away.
But a report by forensic scientist Claire Morse indicated that blood staining on the front of Wall’s right shoe suggested there had been contact with wet blood.
“Ms Morse said this would have been the case if Wall had kicked Barry Thomas,” Ms Evans added.