A NEWPORT man has been jailed for 11 years for a hit-and-run revenge attack on his brother-in-law.

David Rista left Strugurel Lacatus permanently disabled in the attack in the city's Wharf Road on October 8 last year.

Rista, 25, used his car to mow down his victim from behind as he walked on the pavement.


Sentencing the defendant, Judge Rhys Rowlands said Rista gave an "extremely vulnerable" Mr Lacatus "no chance to get out of the way".

Rista was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, following a trial in Cardiff last week.

Rista was cleared of the more serious charge of attempted murder.

A jury rejected Rista's claims that his cousin, Stoica Mugurel, had been the driver. Evidence presented to the court proved Mr Mugurel had been in Belgium at the time of the attack.

At sentencing, the court was told Rista had been "seeking revenge", following a family feud between the defendant and his wife's three brothers.

South Wales Argus: David Rista. Picture: Gwent PoliceDavid Rista. Picture: Gwent Police

The judge said Rista, who has no previous convictions, had seen Mr Lacatus walking along Wharf Road and "decided to teach him a lesson".

Mr Lacatus suffered life-changing injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, skull fracture, subdural haemorrhage, broken back, fractured ribs and a collapsed lung.

South Wales Argus: Emergency services vehicles at the scene in Wharf Road, Newport, on October 8, 2019.Emergency services vehicles at the scene in Wharf Road, Newport, on October 8, 2019.

He was in intensive care for a month after the attack, and in a victim personal statement to the court said his body had been "shattered" in the attack.

The court heard Mr Lacatus now suffers with depression, has sleeping problems, and cannot stand up straight for longer than 10 minutes.

Judge Rowlands also banned Rista from driving for nine and a half years.

Following the hearing, Gwent Police's Detective Constable Carrie Streeter, the officer in charge of the case, said: “The defendant deliberately drove at the victim leaving him with life-changing injuries.

"We welcome today’s sentence and hope this will bring the victim some closure to start moving on with his life.

“I would like to thank the members of the public who came to the victim’s aid and to the off-duty trainee nurse who provided medical assistance at the scene.”