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Judge says violence seems to be part of a night out in Swansea

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 08, 2013

Police dealing with a drunken reveller in Wind Street over the festive period

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A JUDGE has hit out after jailing two men involved in an assault in Swansea's Wind Street.

After sentencing the Swansea pair for an unprovoked attack on a man in a city centre bar, Judge Peter Heywood said: "There doesn't seem to be a night that goes by that there isn't trouble in Wind Street, inside and outside clubs. It seems to be a catalyst for violence."

Police have said tackling violent crime is one of their main objectives, and something they take "very seriously".

Simon Myles, 28, and 26-year-old Ross Milward attacked Paul Elson as he enjoyed a Hallowe'en celebration in Retro bar.

He was watching two female friends dance from the side of the dancefloor, when Myles, his former friend, approached.

Swansea Crown Court heard that Myles, of Griffith John Street, Swansea, approached Mr Elson, first shouting at him before Mr Elson told him to go away.

Mr Elson was then punched twice by Myles, one blow to his face and another to his body.

Milward, of Gwynedd Avenue, Townhill, joined in and threw another punch.

The court heard that Mr Elson required surgery following the attack and needed a metal plate inserting into his face.

He was kept in hospital for two days following the incident.

Mr Elson, who had worked as a security guard before the attack, has had to quit his job, and said he still suffered discomfort from his jaw, especially in cold weather.

For a month after the attack he was unable to eat solid food, the court was told.

In a victim impact statement, which was read to the court, he said he could not believe how the incident had affected him.

Both men had previous convictions for assault and only pleaded guilty on the day of their trial, due to take place in Carmarthen in November.

Tom Scapens, representing Myles, a father-of-two, said his client "lacks clarity of thought".

"He has grown up, married well and decided to take on the role of a role model," said Mr Scapens.

"He's greatly angered that his behaviour on this occasion was not that of a grown up," he added.

Mark Spackman, representing Milward, said his client had not committed a violent offence for more than five years.

Both barristers asked the judge to impose a suspended sentence.

Judge Heywood said the "bad blood" between Myles and Mr Elson had led to Myles losing his temper before Milward decided to join in. He said: "This, in my view, was a serious attack.

"It was unprovoked, in a public place where other people were present and it clearly passes the custody threshold.

"I've been urged to suspend that sentence but I cannot."

The judge then sentenced Myles to 16 months behind bars, and Milward to 14 months.

Following the jailing, South Wales Police Superintendent Phil Davies — the operational commander for Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot — said that while the "vast majority" of people who went to Wind Street for a night out were well behaved, there was a small minority who caused trouble.

He warned anyone who committed acts of violence — in Wind Street or anywhere else in Swansea or Neath Port Talbot — that they would face "the full force of the law".

He said: "Tackling violent crime is one of our main objectives and is an area which we take very seriously.

"Wind Street is very much the focal point for visitors to the night time economy, and somewhere that on weekends and bank holidays we do deploy additional resources to deal with the high volume of people."

"A vast majority of people who visit Wind Street are well behaved and enjoy themselves, but there is a small minority that do cause problems.

"Anyone arrested for an offence of violence whether it be in Wind Street or anywhere else across the Swansea, Neath, and Port Talbot area, should be under no illusions that they can expect to face the full force of the law."

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  • PhilEvs  |  January 08 2013, 8:30PM

    "Great night, no one started any trouble!", a description so rarely attributed to a night on Wind St.

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  • Jiffy  |  January 08 2013, 1:06PM

    Myles needs locking away for a long time. His response to being nicked shows how dangerous he was - "He's greatly angered..." There are too many men like him walking the streets. He'll be a danger for many years to come.

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  • GorsseinonJoe  |  January 08 2013, 11:55AM

    If the police are "targeting violent crime as one of their main objectives", they are failing! This failure to curb violent crime must now be dealt with as a priority by the Police Commissioner, Mr Alun Michael. What is his view on the judges comments? What does he plan to do, immediately, to ensure that the police, in particular SW Police Superintendent Phil Davies, DO take violent crime seriously rather than acting as observers to public order offences? What are his medium to long term plans to clean up the Pubs and Clubs of Swansea and Wind Street in particular in his term of office, liaising with the Licensing Authority to ensure that drink is not sold to those who are inebriated or under age? Well done to the judge for jailing these thugs and making the comments he did. Disgraceful the "defence" statements by lawyers shedding crocodile tears on behalf of thugs with previous. To Phil Davies, SW Police Superintendent, start doing your job, your statements sound as though the are saved in WORD and pulled out every time your force fails to deal with drunks thugs and poor licencees.

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  • TheMatthew  |  January 08 2013, 9:57AM

    No, those convicted of public order offences and assault should pay more taxes and foot the medical bills for those they put in hospital. This Myles guy is a disgrace and what sort of example is he setting to his children after being convicted for assault in the past and now facing a custodial sentence ? He should be sterilised and the barristers asking for suspended sentences should hold their heads in shame.

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  • williamwaun  |  January 08 2013, 9:24AM

    These pubs & clubs should pay extra taxes to cover the cost of our police and hospitals.

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  • hacker_jack  |  January 08 2013, 9:16AM

    This was clearly a personal issue and had nothing to do with it being on Wind Street so the judge can take his sanctimonious attitude and stick to his high-priced members lounge.

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