Gang of ‘animalistic’ vigilantes beat up an innocent tourist before stripping him naked and frogmarching him to a pub because they wrongly thought he was a paedophile, court hears
- Welsh couple Stephanie Jones, 29 and Jordan Davies, 28, admitted the attack
- Refused to give up gang members still at large after the 2018 attack in New Quay
- They stole iPad, phone and laptop, told him to strip and frogmarched him to pub
- Naked injured man asked for help but was thrown out and kicked in face by Jones
- Dyfed-Powys Police took 3 years to charge despite making arrests within days
- Judge says ‘egregious’ delay means ‘sharp’ reduction to 6-year starting sentence
A gang of ‘animalistic’ vigilantes beat up an innocent tourist, before robbing him, stripping him naked and frogmarching him into a pub in Wales after wrongly branding him a paedophile.
The bleeding, bruised and naked victim – a Lithuanian man living in London visiting west Wales in his campervan pleaded for help in the bar in New Quay before being thrown out.
He was kicked in the face and laughed at by gang member Stephanie Jones as he sat in distress on the pavement outside.
Only two members of the gang have ever been identified – Stephanie Jones, 29 and her partner Jordan Davies, 28, both of Glasfryn, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire.
The pair refused to tell police who else was involved in the attack on the innocent man and the other assailants remain at large.
Despite the fact the defendants were arrested within days of the assault it took police more than three years to charge them, a delay one of their advocates said ‘beggared belief’ and which the judge described as ‘so egregious it is quite startling’.
The judge said the delays means there will be a ‘sharp’ reduction to the sentence they would have otherwise received.
In the hours after the assault Jordan Davies (pictured), 28, talked to friends on social media boasting the victim was ‘a mess – ha ha’ in one message. In another said he had ‘robbed him and made him walk through Newquay naked’
The injured and distressed man sat on the pavement outside and then Stephanie Jones (pictured), 29, kicked him forcibly in the head before laughing. In a Facebook post she talked about ‘the boys’ going to the van of a man they thought was a ‘paedo’ and beating him up, which made her ‘happy’
Craig Jones, prosecuting, said on the night of July 18 2018 the victim was parked in the centre of New Quay near the Seahorse Inn and was preparing for bed when a group of people who had seemingly ‘taken against his presence having convinced themselves without any foundation that he was a paedophile’ approached the vehicle.
Members of the group used their mobiles as torches and shone lights in the victim’s face.
They beat the man up, stripped him naked, and stole his iPad, phone and laptop along with cash and bank cards.
Mr Jones said the group then forced the naked, bruised and bloodied man to walk to the nearby Sea Horse pub and pushed him inside in an act designed to ‘degrade and humiliate’ him further.
He said the victim asked people in the bar for help but ‘for reasons that are not clear’ he was told to leave the premises.
The injured and distressed man sat on the pavement outside and then Jones kicked him forcibly in the head before laughing.
The court heard that a member of staff from the pub later came out and gave the victim a blanket and took him inside before calling police.
The tourist was taken to hospital where a CT scan revealed a subarachnoid haemorrhage – bleeding on the brain – in addition to the obvious cuts, bruises and severe swelling around the eyes.
Mr Jones said that in the hours after the incident Davies talked to friends on social media boasting the victim was ‘a mess – ha ha’ in one message.
In another said he had ‘robbed him and made him walk through Newquay naked’.
In other messages Davies expressed concern about the police presence in the town following the attack and about the possibility of being caught, but said he had spoken to others at the scene and they told him they would not turn him in.
The court heard Davies was also worried about talk and rumours about the incident from New Quay locals, who he called ‘a bunch of inbred a*** beads’.
On the night of July 18 2018 the victim was parked in the centre of New Quay near the Seahorse Inn (pictured) and was preparing for bed when a group of people who had seemingly ‘taken against his presence having convinced themselves without any foundation that he was a paedophile’ approached the vehicle
In a Facebook post she talked about ‘the boys’ going to the van of a man they thought was a ‘paedo’ and beating him up, which made her ‘happy’.
She also described how she had told the man to take his clothes off before kicking him in the head.
Following inquiries in the town police arrested Jones and her partner Davies.
The other people who took part in the assault and robbery have never been identified.
The court heard details of an impact statement from the victim in which he said he had been working in the tourism sector in London helping to arrange tours and excursions for visitors before taking the trip to Wales.
He said following the assault he had gone home to Lithuania for three months to recover, and had been left suffering with panic attacks and psychological problems.
He added that the theft of his laptop and iPad – items which he used for his freelance job and which have never been recovered – meant he lost his employment.
Stephanie Georgina Jones, 29, and 28-year-old Jordan Russell Davies, now both of Glasfryn, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, had previously pleaded guilty to robbery and inflicting grievous bodily harm on the day they were due to stand trial when they appeared in the dock for sentencing.
They had originally also been charged with kidnap but this accusation was dropped when the guilty pleas were accepted.
Barrister James Hartson, for Davies, described his client as a ‘very, very immature’ young man who had no idea of the seriousness of his conduct on the night in question, and had initially seemed to ‘glory and revel in it’.
He said the defendant had been identified and arrested within 48 hours of the incident yet it had taken Dyfed-Powys Police some 40 months to charge him via a postal requisition.
Lee Davies, for Jones, said nothing he could say could mitigate the offence itself but he said the defendant’s remorse for her actions on the night in question permeated her pre-sentence report.
He said a woman in America had seen his client’s Facebook post and alerted police in west Wales within days of the incident, and it ‘beggared belief’ it had taken police so long to bring charges.
Judge Paul Thomas QC told the defendants they had taken part in an ‘animalistic’ attack on a visitor to Wales, launching a callous and sustained attack on an innocent man and showing him no mercy as they beat and then humiliated him. Pictured: Swansea Crown Court
He added that arrangements had been made for Jones’ and Davies’ two young daughters to be looked after by his client’s mother during any period of incarceration.
Judge Paul Thomas QC told the defendants they had taken part in an ‘animalistic’ attack on a visitor to Wales, launching a callous and sustained attack on an innocent man and showing him no mercy as they beat and then humiliated him.
The judge described the delay in press charges as ‘so egregious it is quite startling’, and noted that in the intervening years the defendants had tackled their drink and drug problems, and made great strides in turning their lives around.
He said that had the case come to be sentenced in a more timely manner the defendants would be given starting sentences of around six years, but the delay meant there would have to be a ‘sharp downward adjustment’.
The judge said the starting point after trial would have been one of four years imprisonment each, and with a discount of 10 per cent for their guilty pleas that was reduced to 42 months.
The defendants will serve up to half that period in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.