TWO masked robbers armed with machetes stabbed a young father to death after he stumbled and fell as he was being chased, a jury was told.

Four men and a boy are on trial accused of murdering Ryan O’Connor during an alleged robbery for his Gucci man bag in Newport last summer.

Lewis Aquilina, 20, of Canton Court, Riverside, Cardiff, Ethan Strickland, 19, of Clos Briallen, Caerau, Cardiff, Elliot Fiteni, 19, of no fixed abode, Kyle Raisis, 18, of Bartley Wilson Way, Canton, Cardiff and Joseph Jeremy, 17, of no fixed abode, Caerphilly, deny killing him.

Prosecution witness Lewis Pritchard told of how he saw Mr O’Connor, who was commonly known by his nickname Apple, being attacked in the Alway area.

He said he was cycling in the Aberthaw Road area when he saw masked men get out of a Ford Fiesta ST and confront the alleged victim.

READ MORE: ‘Gang laughed as stabbed dad lay dying following Gucci bag robbery’

The video interview Mr Pritchard gave to police the day after 26-year-old Mr O’Connor died was played to jurors.

South Wales Argus:

Tributes left at the scene where Ryan O’Connor was allegedly murdered. Picture: Athena Picture Agency

The witness told detectives: “The driver flung his door open and he said, ‘Oi! Come here.’

“He’s holding a machete. He was waving it around. It was silver. Shiny.

He tried to get away before he collapsed

“He had his hood up and his face was covered.

“Apple ran off and the driver chased him.”

South Wales Argus:

Ryan O’Connor was allegedly murdered for his Gucci bag. Picture: Athena Picture Agency

Mr Pritchard said he saw Mr O’Connor fall before a passenger from the Fiesta joined the incident.

“Apple fell over. He stumbled. He slipped. He tried to get back up and that’s when the other one came in,” the eyewitness said.

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Mr O’Connor was then attacked by the pair with machetes, he claimed.

He told of how Apple had struggled in vain to flee his attackers.

Mr Pritchard said: “He tried to get away before he collapsed.”

He maintained he saw Mr O’Connor being stabbed in the back by the first attacker and then knifed twice by the second one.

Newport Crown Court heard how Mr Pritchard feared for his safety before he saw Mr O’Connor being attacked.

The witness told the police: “I saw the car by the Somerton Steps and the driver stared at me.

“He had a black mask on.

“I thought they were coming for me.”

Martin Heslop QC, representing Aquilina, questioned Mr Pritchard’s version of events and his recollection of what took place that evening.

He accused him of having a “bad memory”.

Mr Pritchard accepted he has had problems with his memory “for a while”.

The defence barrister told him: “This must have been a shocking episode for you to watch.”

Mr Heslop quizzed Mr Pritchard over his initial evidence in which he said he saw Mr O’Connor being attacked when he was on the floor.

He suggested the alleged victim had been standing up.

Mr Pritchard replied he now accepted Apple was stabbed when he was on his feet but maintained he did fall over as he was being chased.

Aquilina, Strickland, Fiteni, Raisis and Jeremy all deny murder, manslaughter and robbery.

Father-of-one Mr O’Connor died on Balfe Road at around 9pm on Thursday, June 10, 2021.

The trial before Mr Justice Saini continues.

For updates from today's hearing, go to: