Cwmbran man denies helping friend in attack

11:56am Friday 6th December 2013

A CWMBRAN father appeared in court yesterday accused of helping a school friend carry out an attack on a love rival.

Newport Crown Court heard on October 4 last year, Charles Coia, 27, assisted Martin Vaughan to bash through Jocelyn Jones’ door on Rifle Street, Blaenavon and assault him with a stick or bat.

Vaughan left Mr Jones with serious injuries. He had to have surgery after the assault which left him bloodied and dazed after Vaughan, wearing a balaclava, escaped down the road.

Vaughan was dating Tracey Jones, Mr Jones’ estranged wife, and the men had argued about this. The prosecution argue Coia, of Burton’s Place, Llantarnam, lent Vaughan a car to carry out the attack, texting him afterwards just after 3am, and let him stay at his house that night.

Vaughan, 29, admitted the assault and will be sentenced after Coia’s trial.

Nicholas Jones, prosecuting, said: “The analysis of Vaughan’s mobile phone showed he travelled from Coia’s address to Blaenavon. The prosecution say Mr Vaughan went back to Mr Coia’s house. He must have been covered in blood. Mr Coia must have known what went on.”

When police phoned Coia to ask where Vaughan was, he said he hadn’t seen him recently. The court heard Coia sent texts to Vaughan while he was wanted by police, offering to put fuel in his car and one text which prosecution interpret as Coia discussing buying a car for him.

Vaughan’s texts to Coia included: “I’m in the worst spot I’ve been in in my life. I need you more than ever. I have got no money and I know I’m being tracked. They’re waiting for me.”

In a witness statement read in court, Mr Jones said: “I just remember he kept hitting me with this bat, thump after thump after thump. There was a lot of blood in my eyes, I couldn’t see anything.”

Neighbours heard screams and called 999. In a written statement given to police, Coia said: “At no point did I assist Martin Vaughan in avoiding the police. I was in contact with [him] when the police were looking for him and on numerous occasions I told him to hand himself in.”

Coia denies two counts of GBH and one count of assisting an offender between October 4 and December 11, 2012.

Proceeding.

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