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Stone-thrower was ‘not looking for any trouble’

Haverfordwest court
Haverfordwest court

ON WEDNESDAY, Magistrates dealt with two men who were involved in an incident where a stone was thrown at another man, causing him actual bodily harm. Richard Coombes, aged 21, of Bush Street in Pembroke, pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court, and his co-defendant, Ben Phillips, aged 21, of High Street in Haverfordwest pleaded guilty to using threatening words and behaviour in the same incident.

Prosecuting, Peter Lloyd said: “On April 26 at 1.30pm, a complaint was made to the police that two men were banging on a door and throwing things at windows.” Both Coombes and Phillips had been on a night out in Pembroke, and had attended the Prince of Wales public house. They had already attracted police attention earlier that night, and were told to leave the area.

“They made their way down London Road,” said Mr Lloyd, “and the victim in this case could hear banging on his bedroom window. He went outside and could see the two men, one of which was shouting ‘get out here’.” The victim had then noticed the defendants pick up poles. He left his home armed with a tennis racket, and felt something hit the left side of his head, which caused a laceration and knocked him to the floor. It was later confirmed that Coomes had thrown a stone at him.

Mr Lloyd said: “When police arrived, they realised it was the two people they had dealt with earlier on in the evening. Coombes was holding a cricket bat and Phillips had a pole in his hand. In defence of Phillips, solicitor Matthew Greenish said: “Phillips accepts he has picked up a wooden pole and he accepts he’s been abusive.” On behalf of Coombes, defence solicitor, Katie Hanson said that initially, the victim had thrown a stone at them and he just threw it back at him. She said: “They weren’t looking for any trouble.” Phillips was fined £95 for the incident, ordered to pay £150 in costs and a £20 victim surcharge, and Coombes was fined £200, ordered to pay £150 in costs, a £20 victim surcharge and compensation of £150 to the victim.