Trio on trial for Honiton street fight

ONE of a trio accused of a street attack in Honiton texted a friend, saying he thought a man he hit had been left fighting for his life.

The trial of Aaron Seldon and Shaun Bond, both 20, and Dean Saunders, 26,has continued at Exeter Crown Court. It is alleged they were involved in violence in Honiton town centre after a night out at the Pit Club in the early hours of Saturday, March 21, last year.

The court heard Saunders, who had been a guest DJ at the club, had his mobile phone seized by police. A text said: ‘Apparently the matey I whacked once is in Derriford on a life support machine. What a Dublin’

Prosecuting, Lee Brembridge said ‘Dublin’ was predictive text for a swear word.

He is accused of assaulting John Garland with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm - a charge he denies.

Seldon has pleaded guilty to assaulting Scott Morgan. But he and Bond deny an offence of affray. They also both deny wounding Wayne Kelly with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm. It is not alleged Saunders was involved in this.

Mr Brembridge said witnesses said about three people kicked and punched Mr Garland, who suffered a broken jaw. Kelly fractured his cheek bone and skull. He fell to the floor during the attack and ended up with a blood clot on the brain.

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Kelly previously gave evidence and the court heard he woke up in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, up to six weeks later. He had to have the front quarter of his skull removed to allow the removal of blood clots on his brain.

Mr Bremridge showed the jury CCTV footage from the incident, showing Seldon leaving the scene with his arms stretched out wide. It is 3.21am and he is joined with two other men – Steve Bird and a man called Murray. Sean Bond is further behind, along with Dean Saunders and a female, called April Stevens.

Mr Bremridge said: “It shows us quite an aggressive group, with you stretching your arms – an interpretation of wanting to ‘have a go’.”

Mr Bird, who also had his arms out, was arrested but later released without charge.

Detective Sergeant Ian Tyres, formerly of Honiton CID and officer on the case, gave evidence at the trial. He quoted Seldon’s statements during police interview.

Seldon told police he had drank six pints of cider. He said the fight with Mr Morgan had only lasted around 10 seconds and stemming from them staring at each other. He received a cut to his eye.

He said: “He threw a few punches at me, then I threw a few back, then I left. I went back to get my mate [Bond] because I had to get back to Exeter, and he was fighting with the same man. I don’t know who hit first.”

He said he tried to get people away, but got ‘dragged in it’ and a bouncer pulled him away and said ‘you’re better off leaving it’.

He said he was then followed up the High Street by around 20 men, who surrounded him and left him ‘a bit daunted’.

He said: “I thought they were getting ready to punch. I swung and walked away.”

A photo was supplied to police showing a man, believed to be Mr Kelly, lying on the floor. He is being held by a man with a maroon top, who Seldon said he did not recognise.

Bond told police he had a fight with the same man as Seldon after the man in question ‘started gobbing off,’ but was then split up by bouncers.

He said 10 to 15 men followed them and he thought they were going to attack.

He said he thought Seldon had punched Mr Kelly, and somebody had punched a man behind him – but he denies it was him.

He said he had chatted to Mr Kelly in the club and described him as friendly. After the attack he allegedly went to his aid.

He said: “I was trying to wake him up because he just wasn’t moving. I said to people nearby to phone an ambulance because he didn’t look healthy.”

The trial of the three Exeter men continues.