11:43am Wednesday 5th February 2014
TWO men have been found guilty of robbing a man on a Caerphilly street before entering a nearby house party and attacking another with a hammer.
Dennis Roberts, 29, of William Street, Abertridwr, and Matthew Thomas, 31, of Graham Court, Caerphilly, were both found guilty by a jury at Newport Crown Court on Monday of wounding with intent and the robbery of Christopher Protheroe, and inflicting grievous bodily harm on Martin Pearce.
Both were cleared of two counts of wounding with intent against Gareth Grant, two counts of unlawful wounding against Gareth Oosthuizen, and one count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent against Mr Pearce.
The charges related to a series of incidents at and close to a party at a bungalow on Bedwas Road on August 27, 2012.
During the trial, the court heard how Mr Protheroe was attacked outside the bungalow as he made his way home from the party. The court heard a neighbour saw him being punched to the ground by two men, stamped on, before having his iPhone and money stolen as he lay motionless on the street.
Roberts and Thomas then made their way into the house. One of the claimants, and the owner of the bungalow, Martin Pearce, suffered serious facial injuries during the attack, after being struck to the side of his face by a hammer by both Roberts and Thomas. Mr Pearce had to have four titanium screws and plates inserted in one side of his face following the attack.
The jury also heard evidence from forensic scientist Stephen Paddock who said traces of blood matching the DNA of Mr Protheroe was found on the clothing of Roberts, with weak blood stains, belonging to Mr Protheroe also found on Thomas’ jumper, along with traces of his own blood.
Earlier in the trial, both defendants claimed they had gone to the party to get drugs. Roberts had claimed it was he who was attacked with a hammer after complaining about the quality of the mephedrone.
The pair will be sentenced at Crown court on Friday, March 7.
Jason Clarke, 38, of Manor Way, Risca, who was also facing charges of robbery and and causing grievous bodily harm with intent and an alternative charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm was cleared of all charges at the court last Wednesday after the judge directed the jury to return not guilty verdicts because of a lack of evidence.
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