Attack was ‘like a pack of wild animals’ jury told

Published date: 29 May 2012 |
Published by: Staff reporter
Read more articles by Staff reporter


FAMILY members behaved like “a pack of wild animals” during an alleged attack on a playing field in Wrexham, a jury heard yesterday.

Siblings and their partners are alleged to have punched and kicked the partner of a family member while he was defenceless and restrained on the floor.

Complainant Paul Southern told how he was left injured, with his face covered in blood, following the attack at The Oval in Pentre Maelor.

The jury at Mold Crown Court heard there was bad blood between him and members of his partner’s family.

He told the jury he was pinned down to the ground where six people attacked him.

Mr Southern claimed he was kicked and punched about 30 times when he had simply been on the playground enjoying time with his children.

Stephanie Nilsson, 30, of The Oval, Pentre Maelor; Scott McDermott, 31, of The Oval;  Stephen Williams, 33, of The Oval; Stephen McDermott, 45, of Pilgrim’s Way, Pentre Maelor; Kelly Williams, 33, of Pilgrim’s Way and Carrie Ann McDermott, 25, of The Oval, all deny assault, occasioning him actual bodily harm, one evening in July of last year.

The alleged assault occurred in front of independent witnesses who could see it from their homes.

One of them had described the defendants as acting like a pack of wild animals, said prosecuting barrister Nicholas Sefton.

“Each of the defendants used violence towards Mr Southern which was unlawful,” said Mr Sefton.

“It was an attack by six people onto one – the prosecution say that could not be reasonable self-defence.”

The complainant was effectively the brother-in-law of most of the defendants and it was right to say there had been bad blood between them for a number of years, he said.

It was alleged that at about 7.30pm as he was playing with his son, aged three, and his 13-year-old step-daughter, that Stephanie Nilsson with her fiancée Scott McDermott approached and he began calling him names.

It was alleged that Stephanie Nilsson also made comments and Mr Southern walked towards them.

The prosecutor said without warning Scott McDermott punched him on his face and it was alleged Stephanie Nilsson began to attack him as well, punching him on his face at least once.

Mr Southern became aware of others joining in the attack.

It was claimed he ended up being restrained on the floor with Stephen McDermott sitting on him pinning his arms down as others assaulted him.

He had blood in his eyes as they were thumping him, he said.

Mr Southern alleged that Stephen Williams handed his child over to a woman and then ran at him and kicked him straight to the face. “He put a hole in my mouth,” he claimed.

There were fists in his face constantly. “They were thumping me to the side, between the legs, anywhere they could,” he said.

He claimed Carrie McDermott thumped him twice on his face and ran off as he was still being restrained.

Kelly Williams also hit him on his face a couple of times before the attack finished, he said.

He could not get up and his attackers were telling him he was dead, that he should not mess with them, and that he should not have moved into the estate. “I was very drained and weak,” he said.

Mr Southern said he walked away covered in blood and dialled 999 as the others were still ranting at him.

Cross-examined, he denied being the aggressor and said he could not lash out himself to protect himself because he was being pinned down with his arms by his side while the assault took place.

The trial before Judge Merfyn Hughes, QC, continues and is expected to last more than a week.


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