Llandrindod man beat friend after sharing bottles of gin

A LLANDRINDOD Wells man attacked his friend after the pair had drunk two-and-a-half bottles of gin together.

Kyle Matthew Stevens revealed he was devastated after the drunken incident led to the end of his friendship with Lee Watkins.

The 33-year-old admitted assault at Llandrindod Magistrates Court on Wednesday, November 11.

Prosecutor Stephen Davies said the incident occurred on the evening of March 6 this year when Stevens turned on his pal.

Mr Davies said: “Mr Watkins was at home with his friend Kyle Stevens and a female friend. They’d drunk a substantial amount of gin between them.

“The female friend left then Mr Stevens and Mr Watkins argued over Mr Stevens wanting him to cook a meal. The complainant can’t remember what happened next as he lost consciousness, but the next thing he knew he woke up on the kitchen floor with Mr Stevens on top of him punching him in the face.

“He rang 999 but was unable to speak to the operative. The operator said they received the call at 8pm and could hear two male voices swearing. One said ‘I’m going to beat you’.

“Police were called and the victim was taken to hospital but was released without any significant injuries. Police then had a call from a member of the public who said Kyle Stevens had told them ‘I think I’ve killed Lee Watkins’.

“He was arrested a short time later and told officers ‘I did it in self-defence, he said bad stuff about my girlfriend’. He gave a prepared statement at the station saying Lee Watkins had been ‘chopsy and aggressive’. He was asked to leave then said when he grabbed his things Lee Watkins grabbed him round the throat. He said he had injuries as a result.

“He left the property but went back three times to check on Mr Watkins but was unable to get in. He said ‘I went back to check as I was worried Lee had hit his head. I saw the curtains open and then on the third occasion they were closed so I knew he was OK’.”

Acting for Stevens, of Lant Avenue, Llandrindod, Paul Lewis said it was his client’s first conviction for a violent offence.

“Neither party remembers much, which is not surprising considering they’d drunk two-and-a-half bottles of gin between them,” said Mr Lewis.

“The defendant at some point was acting in self-defence but then accepts he went beyond that. He went back to the property three times, which shows some of his character. The aggravating factor is the victim’s loss of consciousness.”

Probation officer Donna Davies said Stevens had been drinking heavily following a relationship breakdown.

She said: “He feels shame and remorse. He has had a new partner since June and is in full-time employment. He is gutted as the friendship is over.”

Chairman of the bench Geraint Evans told Stevens: “Drink does strange things to people and you’ve lost a friend due to it. Hopefully, you’ll get that friendship back.”

They ordered Stevens to comply with a 12-month community order, including 40 hours of unpaid work. He must pay £85 costs, a £90 surcharge, as well as £50 compensation to Mr Watkins.

County Times | Llandrindod Wells & Rhayader