Teenager guilty of father's murder

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The Independent Online

A teenager broke down in tears today as a jury found her guilty of murdering her father.

Antiques dealer Antoni Robinson, 61, was stabbed 15 times as he slept in bed at his home in Old Colwyn, North Wales, Mold Crown Court heard.

Today a jury of seven women and five men unanimously found Gordon Harding, 20, and Mr Robinson's daughter, Ashleigh Robinson, 19, guilty of murder.

The trial heard Harding launched the attack "supported and encouraged" by his girlfriend.

Robinson broke down in tears as the verdict was announced, while Harding held his head in his hands.

Harding and Robinson, of Llanelian Road, Old Colwyn, were accused of murder along with Sacha Roberts, 19, of Woodland Road West, Colwyn Bay, and a 16-year-old girl who cannot be identified because of her age.

Verdicts have not yet been returned in relation to Roberts and the 16-year-old girl.

Andrew Thomas QC previously told the court that the attack happened in the early hours of July 7 last year when the four defendants gained access to Mr Robinson's home as he slept.

He told the jury that Mr Robinson suffered wounds to his face, neck and upper body, including four stab wounds to his back.

The jugular veins on both side of his neck were severed and he died within minutes of the attack, Mr Thomas said.

At least two knives were used, the prosecutor added, a Commando-style Army knife with a 7in (17.8cm) blade and a kitchen knife with a 3in (7.6cm) blade.

He said Robinson "encouraged and supported" Harding as he carried out the murder, adding: "This killing was the tragic result of family disputes over money, jewellery and property."

Harding admitted stabbing Mr Robinson, but told the court that he was acting in self-defence.

Mr Thomas told the court: "It appears that Mr Robinson had not been able to fight back or to escape.

"We say Mr Robinson must have been completely overpowered by his attacker or attackers."

Mr Thomas said the murder followed the breakdown of Mr Robinson's 25-year relationship with Joanne Barr, mother of Ashleigh, which led them into rows over money.

"Mr Robinson had a safe in his bedroom in which valuables were kept, including family jewellery, and he told Miss Barr that he had sold her jewellery."

Mr Thomas said a plan was hatched by the defendants to sneak into Mr Robinson's bedroom when he was asleep and take the contents of his safe.

The fatal attack took place at around 1am.

After the attack, Harding left his bloodstained clothes on the floor of the bedroom and took a shower to remove the blood which was all over his hands and arms, Mr Thomas said.

He also told the jury that Robinson sent a text message to Miss Barr, telling her mother that her father was dead.

"Things happened, he is no more. Sorry mum. xxxx", the message said.

After receiving the text, Barr went to the house and the prosecution say she and the four defendants then agreed to give a false account to the police.

When police arrived they all claimed Mr Robinson had threatened his daughter and Harding had killed him in self-defence.

But Mr Thomas said: "This was not some tragic accident.

"The murder of Mr Robinson was the predictable result of the defendants' plan to confront him."

The jury was sent home and will continue its deliberations in relation to the remaining defendants on Monday.