THREE men and a youth are on trial for allegedly pulling a knife on a student during an early morning mugging.

Morgan Hanford, Gary Radford, Dwade Stock and a teenager, who can’t be named, all deny robbing James Gould in the early hours of January 26.

Another man, Rhys Williams, has already admitted the charge, the jury at Cardiff Crown Court was told on Tuesday.

James Wilson, prosecuting, said university student Mr Gould was walking home after a night out with friends when he met the group on Commercial Street, Newport, after 5am.

He did not knowthem but started talking to them after he withdrew £100 from a cash machine.

The group started walking in the opposite direction to Mr Gould’s home and eventually stopped in a park where Williams stopped to snort white powder from a key and Mr Gould rolled a cigarette, the court heard.

They continued walking a few minutes more, past Newport Job Centre, and eventually turned into an alleyway.

There Williams grabbed Mr Gould and held him in a head lock while one of the others held out a knife, Mr Wilson said.

Williams said: “I’ve got a blade, I’ve got a blade”, while another of the group punched Mr Gould in the face causing his nose to bleed.

He was hit again in the leg, leaving with a “dead leg” while his trouser pockets were searched and his mobile phone, £100 cash and keys were taken.

One of the gang ordered him to remove his trainers, and as he kicked them off, he managed to break free and run away.

He reported to the matter to police and later picked out Hanford, Williams and Stock out in an identification parade.

The jury were shown CCTV of the group walking through the city centre but there is no footage of the alleged attack.

When interviewed by police, Hanford, 20, of Clytha Crescent, Newport, said he was at home with Radford, 21, of Commercial Road, Newport, at the time of the attack.

The teenager, who cannot be named, admitted walking with a group and said he heard a commotion in a lane but was not involved in a robbery. Stock, 18, of Kirby Lane, Newport, gave no comment.

Giving evidence Mr Gould said he was “intoxicated” on the night of the attack and his memory was “faded”. But he said he was confident five people were involved in the attack.

Cross examining him, David Aubery QC, defending Hanford, said: “The accuracy of your account is pretty much affected by what you had to drink.”