Neighbour shouted at group ‘have you finished’ during knife attack, jury hears

A witness who came to the aid of a paralysed man who suffered an attack in a car that led to his death 13 years later has described hearing the commotion outside her home.

The eyewitness said she heard a noise from outside the front of her flat and saw about 20 people surrounding a car in Lomax Road, Hednesford, on October 30, 2006, Stafford Crown Court heard.

She shouted at the group before coming to the man’s aid when she realised how seriously injured he was.

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Craig Robins was attacked in his car outside a house party after driving around with a machete to find out who was responsible for damaging his car, Mr Jeremy Benson, prosecuting, said.

Mr Robins spent weeks in hospital then years at home with 24/7 care from his family but never woke up. He died in 2019.

Now four men have been charged over his death. Gavin Brown has pleaded guilty to murder and James Milligan admitted manslaughter.

But brothers Kyle and Bernie Smith have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and are on trial.

The witness said: “There were approximately 20 people surrounding the front and both sides of the front of the vehicle.

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“A male was holding something behind his back and he had a white T-shirt on but it was very dark.

“I thought it was possibly a pellet gun.

“I went outside my property and shouted at them all. They were about 20 metres away.

“There were several people around the driver’s side, someone sitting in the car. The car was running, the lights were on.

“One went around the passenger door.

“It looked like they were punching and kicking the driver. The driver’s door was open.

“Everything just happened so fast.

“When I shouted they all ran away.”

The witness said the punching and kicking went on for a few minutes before she shouted “have you finished?”

She added: “One person made their way around the car and opened the door and held onto the roof of the car kicking their legs in.

“I initially went down to the car thinking it was a scenario of ‘are you ok? Yes I am, thanks, ta-ra’.

“Clearly an ambulance was needed so I went back to the flat, rang an ambulance, I took the driver’s shirt off him as there was nothing available and tied it around his neck tight.”

James Ainsley Milligan, 42, of Canford Place, Hednesford Road, Cannock, admitted manslaughter on September 7 at Stafford Crown Court.

Gavin Dwain Brown, 36, of HMP Lancaster Farm, admitted the murder of Mr Robins in June.

Bernie Peter Smith, 30, of Rowley Close, Hednesford, and Kyle Neil Smith, 33, of Pebble Mill Drive, Cannock, who were charged with manslaughter, are standing trial at Stafford Crown Court.

The trial continues.

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