Restarted trial hears of moment disabled man was stabbed in Cannock

Jurors in the trial of two men accused of the manslaughter of a disabled man in Cannock have been told of the moment he was stabbed.

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 27 when he was attacked in his car, in Lomax Road, in Hednesford, on October 30, 2006 while searching for people he thought had damaged the adapted Vauxhall Astra.

Gavin Brown has previously pleaded guilty to murder and James Milligan has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Robins.

Bernie Peter Smith and Kyle Neil Smith have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.

The restarted trial heard the defendants were part of a large group involved in an incident during which the alleged victim was stabbed, punched and kicked in 2006. And as a result Mr Robins, who was previously injured in a car crash was left brain damaged.

He subsequently died, aged 40, in 2019.

Giving evidence prosecution witness Richard Carr told Stafford Crown Court: "This car pulled up at the front and someone in it was threatening the youngsters who were just 15 or younger. The person said he was looking for the 'WS12'.

Gavin Brown, pictured back in 2006, has admitted murder

"Somebody came running upstairs from outside. That's when the older people went downstairs to see who was threatening the youngsters, who were minors, with a gun."

"Bernie Smith was one of the youngsters. At the time he was 14 or 15 years old. He was outside if I remember rightly. It was a long time ago."

He told the jury that when the group got to the car they saw that "one man was in the car" and he was looking towards them with a gun.

"Kyle punched him and knocked the gun out of his hand. That was when Gavin took the machete off this man, who had brought it himself, and stabbed him. Kyle grabbed Gavin and said 'that's enough'."

Also giving evidence Katrina Burn said that she had lived nearby and went outside to see what was going on.

James Milligan has pleaded guilty to manslaughter

"There were several people around the car. The lights were on and the engine was running. I could make out that someone was in the driver's seat.

"Four people were at the driver's door and one person ran to the passenger door. Several were behind the car.

"The four appeared to be punching and kicking the driver. The door was open," Miss Burn said.

"Someone ran to the passenger door and grabbed hold of the door before swinging their legs inside the car," she added.

Gavin Brown, 36, of HMP Lancaster Farm, pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Robins at a previous hearing. James Ainsley Milligan, 42, of Hednesford Road, Cannock, pleaded guilty to his manslaughter. They will be sentenced at a later date.

Bernie Smith, 30, of Rowley Close, in Hednesford, and Kyle Smith, 33, of Pebble Mill Drive, in Cannock, both deny manslaughter. The trial continues.

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