Murder accused man tells jury he was afraid of disabled alleged victim

A man on trial for the manslaughter of a disabled man told the jury he was "scared" of his alleged victim.

Craig Robins was already paralysed after a car crash when he was attacked
Craig Robins was already paralysed after a car crash when he was attacked

Wheelchair user Craig Robins was stabbed in his face and neck as he sat in his car, in Lomax Road, in Hednesford, on October 30, 2006 after searching for a gang he thought had damaged it. He had been armed with a machete.

During a confrontation with a group of people he was also allegedly punched, kicked and had a brick thrown at him through the window. He was left permanently brain damaged due to a stab wound to his right eyebrow dislodging a fragment of bone.

Giving evidence Kyle Smith, now 33, told the jury that he punched Mr Robins only once after being told by teenagers at a party that a man was outside making threats, saying he had a gun and brandishing a machete.

Smith said: "I was scared. I thought he was going to shoot me. My sister was there too and I wanted to protect her. Everything happened really fast. I was dazed. I was telling my sister and brother to move. As I turned back round I saw Gavin [Brown] stabbing him.

"I asked him 'what are you doing?' I couldn't believe what he had done. I couldn't believe that the situation could have escalated so fast. I felt disgusted.

"They were just kids, 14 and 15 years old. They were being threatened by an adult who had a machete," he said.

Mr Smith told the jury that he did not intend to carry out any unlawful action.

Both he and his brother Bernie Smith told the jury they did not notice Mr Robins's wheelchair in the back of the vehicle.

The jury heard that the machete was recovered on land near the flats by police officers following a search.

He and Bernie Smith, now 30, are on trial at Stafford Crown Court accused of the manslaughter of Mr Robins, who was left in a coma following the attack and died, aged 40, in 2019. He was paralysed from the chest down after a car accident in 1997.

The court heard he was searching for the area’s infamous WS12 gang, who he blamed for causing damage to his silver Vauxhall Astra the day before the incident.

The jury heard that Kyle Smith and Bernie Smith were previously cleared of attempting to murder and of wounding the alleged victim following a trial in 2007. At a subsequent hearing Kyle Smith was jailed for violent disorder, while Bernie Smith was given a supervision order for the same offence.

Gavin Brown has pleaded guilty to murder and James Milligan has pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Brown, 36, of HMP Lancaster Farm, and Milligan, 42, of Hednesford Road, Cannock, will be sentenced at a later date.

Bernie Smith, of Rowley Close, Hednesford, and Kyle Smith, of Pebble Mill Drive, Cannock, both deny manslaughter. The trial continues.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News