TWO brothers are accused of violently attacking a man because they believed he was involved in the death of their half-sister.
Gary and Raymond Collins, along with their friend Samantha Lee, allegedly carried out a “very serious assault” on Jason Webb at his home in Pentland Close, Buckskin, Basingstoke, a jury at Winchester Crown Court heard.
David Reid, prosecuting, said Mr Webb had been stabbed through the cheek and hit with household items during the attack on February 11 this year.
Opening the case, Mr Reid told the jury: “This was sustained violence and a very serious assault by each of the three defendants.”
He described how Jason Webb, 50, had been at an address in Vyne Road, South View, where Sally Wheeler, the brothers’ half-sister, died on February 9.
Mr Reid said: “There is some suggestion her death could have been from a drug overdose. The Crown says these three defendants (wrongly) held the unfortunate victim in some way responsible for what happened to Sally Wheeler.”
He told how a group of people, including one of the brothers and Lee, visited Mr Webb’s home hours after Sally Wheeler’s death, and said they would ‘get’ the person they thought was responsible.
Both brothers returned with Lee, 28, and two other men, two evenings later, just before midnight.
In the attack that followed, Mr Webb was “kicked by both brothers and his head was stamped on”.
Mr Reid told the jury: “Someone stabbed him in the cheek with a curved blade, which went through his cheek and cut the roof of his mouth.”
The court heard Mr Webb was also hit with a Hoover attachment, a bike, a lamp and a mirror, as well as having drop kicks aimed at him as he sat on a chair, and had his head cut with a knife.
Mr Webb was later hospitalised with a black eye and lacerations to his forehead, the side of his head, the top of his scalp and to the left side of his chest as well as a laceration through his cheek, bruising to his eye and, cuts to his fingers and left hand.
Police officers found Gary Collins, 34, of Worting Road, in the car park of Basingstoke Golf Club shortly after the attack.
A bloodstain on his jumper was a DNA match to Mr Webb, Mr Reid said.
Lee was arrested the following day at her home in Winklebury Centre, Winklebury, and Raymond Collins, 33, of Penny Black Lane, Rooksdown, was arrested eight days later.
All three defendants have pleaded not guilty to two offences – wounding with intent and having an offensive weapon.
The jury heard on Tuesday that all three defendants have previous convictions for violent offences.
Those defending the Collins brothers said they confronted Mr Webb before the incident about jewellery they believed was taken from Miss Wheeler’s body – something Mr Webb strongly denied when cross-examined.
Later in cross-examination, Mr Webb described Miss Wheeler as an “old tramp” who had “pawned all her jewellery for drugs”.
Robert Grey, defending Raymond Collins, said there was a great deal of uncertainty as to whether the brothers were correctly identified by Mr Webb.
Charles Durrant, defending Lee, said there no knife was used in the attack.
He said to Mr Webb, a former heroin addict, who smokes cannabis several times a day: “You were, in your own words, 'stoned out of your nut'. The light was dim. You can't be sure you were stabbed or who stabbed you.”
Gary Collins told the jury he had become convinced his half-sister had been murdered after being visited by her spirit.
The 34-year-old was the only defendant to give evidence on Tuesday, as Samantha Lee declined and his brother Raymond Collins said he was ill.
David Reid, prosecuting, asked: “By some time on that Tuesday (the day of the attack) you came to the view that your half-sister had been murdered and you told Ted Wheeler (Miss Wheeler’s father) you had had a message from Sally herself?”
Gary replied: “Her spirit must have come and visit me.” He said that on the night of the attack, a group, including the three defendants, went to two other addresses before paying Mr Webb a visit.
He said they first visited the house in which Miss Wheeler died, in Vyne Road, where they were told by people living there that a man named John Wagstaff had been in the room at the time of her death.
They were told he was “out of his head on heroin”, Collins said.
Collins said they then visited Mr Wagstaff’s home in Fairfields, but he said he had nothing to do with the death but had seen Mr Webb take jewellery from Miss Wheeler’s body.
Mr Wagstaff then led the group to Mr Webb’s address in Buckskin.
Collins denied carrying out a sustained attack on Mr Webb, but said he punched him in the face after “he admitted taking the jewellery” – something Mr Webb vehemently denied doing when he gave evidence in court.
He also admitted to hitting him once over the head with a lamp. Collins claimed he was “not a violent man” and was not angry when confronting Mr Webb.
The court heard Lee told the police in interview that she had seen the two brothers carry out a sustained attack on Mr Webb.
Collins denied this, but said he had seen two other people, who are not on trial, stamping on Mr Webb “out of the corner of his eye”.
Giving evidence yesterday, Raymond Collins denied stamping on or kicking Mr Webb, telling the jury that he had punched him twice on the chin.
He said he lashed out after hearing Mr Webb “admit taking the jewellery”. He claimed he had not seen any knives being used and had left the address after seeing two other men stamping on Mr Webb’s head.
Closing speeches were due to be heard yesterday afternoon, with the jury expected to retire to consider its verdicts today.