A NEWPORT man has been jailed for three years after taking part in a robbery that left a man needing a metal plate inserted to his face.

Ashley Cross, of Lliswerry Road, admitted one count of robbery at an earlier hearing, alongside a 17-year-old who admitted the same offence.

Cardiff Crown Court heard on Friday how 24-year-old Cross, along with the youth who cannot be named, followed a man from a cash machine on Chepstow Road in the early hours of April 4 this year.

The victim, who had just finished his shift at a nearby warehouse where he worked as a packager, took out £200 in cash but the robbers did not take any of the money, opting instead to steal his mobile phone, his spectacles, and a Stanley knife he had in his possession from work.

David Wooler, prosecuting, said the defendants approached the man and at first demanded he gave them his money. The victim pulled out his Stanley knife and began to chase them off but when the defendants turned on him again, he began running away and tripped over and onto the floor.

Mr Wooler said Cross began stamping repeatedly on the victim’s head while the youth went through his pockets as he lay motionless on the ground. A witness recalled how he saw a “shocking and vicious” attack, and that later both began to stamp and kick the victim before running away.

The court heard how the victim was forced to have a metal plate inserted to his right eye socket due to the injuries he sustained and has not been able to return to work or to be paid since the attack.

Cross initially told police he was acting in self-defence, but later admitted the charge against him.

In mitigation, James Tucker, defending, said: “The roles were reversed at one point. A knife was produced and it might be different from a one-way attack. But I do not suggest at all that this is an excessive act of self-defence – that is clear in the facts.”

Sentencing the pair, Recorder Judge Peter Davies said: "The most shocking part of this is that [the victim] was kicked and stamped on a number of times, which resulted in his injuries. I have seen the pictures and they are truly horrific.

"I see this as a serious robbery and I consider you Mr Cross to be the main attacker."

He sentenced Cross to three years' imprisonment, while the 17-year-old was given a 12-month detention and training order, half of which he will serve in custody.