A DRIVER allegedly "tried to kill his brother-in-law by deliberately using his car to mow him down before leaving him for dead in a revenge attack".

David Rista, 25, from Newport, has gone on trial accused of the attempted murder of Strugurel Lacatus on the city’s Wharf Road in October 2019.

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A jury at Cardiff Crown Court heard the defendant is married to the complainant’s sister Adina Lacatus.

They were told by Christopher Rees, prosecuting, there was a “feud” between Rista and his wife’s three brothers Strugurel, Mugurel and Laurentiu.


He said the defendant was the alleged victim of an assault by Strugurel in July 2019 after they drove back to Newport from Bristol Airport.

Mr Rees told the trial: “The defendant made threats about taking revenge on Strugurel Lacatus.

“Matters escalated and it was a festering sore and he was unable to get over it.”

The prosecutor told the jury: “At around 1.35pm on October 8, 2019, Strugurel Lacatus was walking along Wharf Road in Newport.

“A black Vauxhall Corsa car owned by, and the prosecution say, driven by David Rista was deliberately driven at Mr Lacatus, running him over and leaving him for dead.”

Mr Rees said: “It was a murderous attack and Strugurel Lacatus suffered life-changing injuries.

“He suffered a traumatic brain injury, skull fracture, subdural haemorrhage, a broken back, fractured ribs and a collapsed lung.

“Mr Lacatus has been left with a permanent disability.”

The jury heard how the complainant was treated at the scene by a student nurse and paramedics.

He was then flown by helicopter to Cardiff’s University of Wales Hospital where remained in intensive care.

The jury was told that Rista accepts he was in the Corsa that hit Mr Lacatus as a passenger.

He claims the car was being driven by his first cousin Stoica Mugurel.

The court was told the prosecution will present evidence that Mr Mugurel was not in the country at the time of the collision.

Mr Rees said: “The defendant has invented this story because he simply had no other option.

“The prosecution say you will have no doubt that the driver of the vehicle was David Rista.

“The prosecution also say that when he mowed down and left him for dead, it was his intention to kill Strugurel Lacatus.”

Romanian national Rista, of Rugby Road, denies attempted murder, causing grievous bodily harm with intent and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The trial continues.