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Two men on trial for scaffolder's murder admit manslaughter.

Byline: Liz Day Reporter liz.day@walesonline.co.uk

TWO men on trial for murdering 42-year-old scaffolder Wayne Letherby have pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a "swift turn of events".

Dean Doggett and Jamie Leyshon, both 26, admitted the manslaughter of Mr Letherby, who died on April 17 following violent scenes outside the De Winton pub in Tonypandy. In his opening, Paul Lewis QC for the prosecution told the jury at Cardiff Crown Court that Mr Letherby, a grandfather, was the victim of a "vicious assault" before he died from a tear in an artery to his brain.

Mr Lewis said: "Before this trial commenced, we had indicated in writing that if pleas of manslaughter were to be forthcoming from the defendants, they would be accepted by the Crown. It has never been the prosecution case that any defendant intended to kill Wayne Letherby."

He said the Crown Prosecution Service had taken a "realistic stance" as to the pleas that would be accepted.

He added the decision to accept guilty pleas to the alternative manslaughter charge had been discussed with the victim's family and investigating officers.

Doggett, of Mynydd yr Eos, Tonypandy, denied murder and violent disorder and admitted manslaughter. The charge of violent disorder will lie on file.

Leyshon, of Ty Gwyn Road, Penygraig, denied murder but admitted manslaughter and violent disorder.

Kylie Thomas, 25, of Penygraig, denied murder and admitted violent disorder.

Mr Lewis said: "We do not seek further trial of the female defendant. She is effectively a young woman of good character."

He added: "We bear in mind that she was not involved in the events inside the pub or there at the outbreak of the violence outside. She has pleaded guilty to violent disorder which reflects her part."

The jury was directed to find Doggett and Leyshon not guilty of murder and guilty of manslaughter based on their admissions. They were discharged from returning verdicts on the violent disorder charge.

The court heard Doggett had previous convictions for dangerous driving, grievous bodily harm with intent, battery, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assaulting a police officer.

Leyshon had convictions including burglary and grievous bodily harm with intent.

Mr Lewis told the court Doggett and Leyshon committed the greivous bodily harm with intent together in 2009. They attacked a woman with a hammer and a belt, causing "severe injuries" to her skull, face and body. They were each sentenced to four years at a young offender institution.

The court heard Thomas had no previous convictions, but had a warning from South Wales Police regarding a robbery in 2007.

Mrs Justice Nicola Davies said: "Given that the turn of events has been very swift, we will start again on Monday morning."

The trial was originally expected to last for four weeks.

The judge indicated the defendants will be sentenced on Tuesday.

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 15, 2015
Words:492
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