THREE peaceable Gwent people battled to become arch-destroyers before a capacity crowd yesterday.

BBC2's hugely popular Robot Wars came to the Cardiff International Arena for a live event and a strong representation of Gwent competitors fought it out in front of 2,500 spectators.

Kim Davies, 39, a maintenance engineer from Cwmbran, is a veteran of Robot Wars and won the second series in 1998.

His success with Panic Attack, an 82kg deadly machine with front steel lifting spikes capable of throwing enemies out of the arena, has taken him to America's equivalent competition, Battle Bots, in both Las Vegas and San Francisco.

Panic Attack, which cost £2,500 to put together, enjoyed a very successful day, remaining unbeaten against all challengers from Wales and the West of England as well as the show's house robots Dead Metal and Shunt.

Mr Davies has become a celebrity and as young autograph hunters surrounded him yesterday he modestly confessed: "It gets a bit embarrassing sometimes."

Kevin Pritchard, 33, from Cardiff, a design technical teacher at Llantarnam Comprehensive School, shared victory with Panic Attack in the second series triumph and supported Mr Davies yesterday in their victory over the house robots.

This time he was there with Evil Weevil, a 100kg robot with a glass fibre body and a pneumatic claw he designed with help from pupils at the school. He was ably assisted by 12-year-old weapons controller Ruth Poole.

James Rowlands, 16, from Cardiff Road, Maesglas, a student at Cwmcarn School who does a paper round for the Argus, also did battle.

His robot Hornet weighs in at 90kg and cost £1,500 to put together.

Unfortunately Hornet came second best to a machine called Robo Fox.

Panic Attack and Evil Weevil advance to London for the Robot Wars UK championships in August which will be shown on television next year.