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Man 'kicked to death by vandals'

A 'GOOD citizen' who confronted a gang of vandals damaging a traffic bollard was kicked and stamped to death on a housing estate, a jury was told yesterday.

At Cardiff Crown Court Philip Tull, 46, described how he and his friend Les Reed, also 46, were attacked as they walked home after spending a Friday evening at the West End Social Club in Cardiff last June and saw youths kicking the bollard at a pedestrian crossing.

'Les told them to pack it in. I told them they had done enough damage. Then they said they were going to do to us the same as they had done to the crossing.'

'They were enjoying it. You could hear them shouting. They were in a good mood. They seemed happy enough about it,' he said. John Griffith Williams QC, for the prosecution, told the court earlier that Mr Reed, a retired steel worker, and Mr Tull, a painter and decorator, were the 'victims of mindless and brutal violence'. Mr Reed, a father-of-three, died from his injuries and Mr Tull was fortunate to survive, he said.

Nine members of a gang on the Ely housing estate had met up after drinking cans of cider and lager and were roaming the area, he said. Some of the gang walked off when the two men approached, but two stayed at the crossing and when Mr Tull spoke to them they called the others back and the attack took place.

He said: 'The prosecution case is that Mundell and James summoned their friends to a fight calling up reinforcements to ensure there was numerical superiority for the attack on the men who from that moment on stood no chance.'

The jury heard that Mr Reed's injuries were as if he had been in a serious car crash - pathologists found 55 wounds on his body.

Four youths deny joint charges of murdering Mr Reed, the attempted murder of Mr Tull, and causing Mr Tull grievous bodily harm.

Two 17-year-olds on trial cannot be named for legal reasons. Their co-defendants are Michael Mundell and Stephen James, both 20 and from Ely, Cardiff.

The trial was adjourned until today.