A FATAL attack on a young father during the alleged robbery of a Gucci bag was over "within a minute", a court has heard.

The trial of five people accused of killing Ryan O'Connor on Thursday, June 10, 2021, continued at Newport Crown Court today.

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; have all denied killing him.

They also deny robbery.

Today, the jury heard evidence from two witnesses who lived metres away from where the attack happened in the Alway area of the city, including one who tended to Mr O’Connor, 26, who was known to many as 'Apple'.

A police interview with Sophie Frayne was played to the court and told how the witness – who was at her sister’s flat and had been having a bath – walked to the window ‘at the right time’ to see what she thought was a fight.

Miss Frayne told police officers that she was grabbing a towel from the radiator when she saw “three boys having a fight on the roundabout.”

She said: “I shouted to my sister that there was a fight going on. But then I saw one of them pull out a knife. It was large and the blade looked curved.

“I panicked and shouted to my sister that they had a knife and were stabbing him.”

She said that the attack was “over within a minute,” saying that she believed it could have been around 45 seconds from seeing the blade and watching the attack, to seeing Mr O'Connor collapsing to the floor.

She told how the first attacker pulled out the knife and thrust it towards Mr O’Connor, missing the first time but making contact the second time. She believes in total the male  attackertried to stab Mr O’Connor three or four times.

“I was in shock,” she said. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

She said that Mr O’Connor fell to the ground and the second male kicked him before the pair ran off towards a blue car which then sped off.

She also described how she called the police within seconds of seeing the blade, and by the time she had got through, the attack was over, the assailants had left and Mr O’Connor had run in the opposite direction before collapsing onto the pavement.


Miss Frayne’s sister Joanna Verallo was the first person to tend to Mr O’Connor. She told the court how she ran out of the flat and crossed the road to him.

She said: “I was faced with legs and a pair of trainers at this point.

“I sat next to him and talked to him. He was unresponsive.”

She then told of a ‘dark coloured’ car which drove slowly past her.

“They were loud and laughing and looking directly at us,” said Ms Verallo. “I said they were disgusting because they were laughing at the situation and they drove off.”

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.