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Man who murdered friend faces life in prison.

Byline: Tom Bedford newsdesk@walesonline.co.uk

ADRUG user is facing life in jail after being found guilty of the "vicious" murder of a stroke victim by stamping on his head.

Richard Thomas, 36, told police his friend, Robert Young, 53, had hurt himself falling over.

But Mr Young's blood and hair were found on the sole of Thomas' training shoe.

Thomas denied murder claiming diminished responsibility due to the vast quantities of drink and drugs he had consumed.

He had taken 75 valium tablets bought off the internet and washed them down with more than 20 pints of strong cider and lager.

The court heard Thomas was laughing and joking with disabled Mr Young when the mood suddenly changed.

Police and paramedics found Mr Young unconscious on the floor of his home, where there was blood on the walls.

Prosecutor David Elias said: "Precisely what happened may never be known.

"But Mr Young suffered a serious brain injury when he was subjected to a savage and vicious assault."

Mr Young had suffered a stroke when he was 41 and had lost the full use of his right leg and arm.

His housing association property in Treharris, Merthyr Tydfil, had become a daytime drinking den for local alcoholics, including Thomas.

The murder trial heard Thomas was released from police custody after breaching a restraining order on the morning of the attack in February 2014.

He bought lager and cider and "cracked a can" in the street, where he met his friend, Mr Young.

Before going to Mr Young's home he bought the valium tablets from a dealer outside the town's library.

He told the jury: "With internet valium you can take 10 and the next day you'll be fine.

"I didn't go intentionally looking for them but I bumped into a guy and bought 75 from him.

"By the end of the day I had taken them all."

The two friends spent the day drinking cider, strong lager and vodka before Mr Young was found unconscious.

Thomas admits stamping on his friend's head, causing a fatal brain injury, but blamed the attack on taking 75 valium. Prosecutor Mr Elias asked him: "Is that something you normally do?" Thomas replied: "Not every day." Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard Thomas was jailed for nine years in 2014 after admitting causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

But Mr Young never left hospital after the attack in February 2014 and died 16 months later.

Thomas denied murder, but the jury took less than thee hours to find Thomas, of Treharris, guilty.

Judge Paul Thomas QC warned he will be jailed for life when he is sentenced next month.

CAPTION(S):

Richard Thomas, left, murdered stroke victim Robert Young, right, by stamping on his head

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 24, 2017
Words:460
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