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Three men who were due to go on trial plead guilty over Swansea riot

23 Aug 2022 2 minute read
Social media footage of the disturbance in Mayhill

Three men who were due to go on trial over a riot that broke out in Swansea last year have pleaded guilty.

The trial of Lewis James, 20, of Trawler Road, Swansea Marina, Connor Beddows, 22, of Merlin Crescent, Townhill, and Aaron Phillips, 23, of Caer-Gynydd Road, Waunarlwydd, was set to begin on Tuesday.

During a hearing at Swansea Crown Court, the men made a last-minute change of plea to guilty.

A fourth defendant, Kye Dennis, 24, of Fforestfach, continues to deny his alleged role in the disturbance that took place in Mayhill on May 20 last year.

It is unknown when Dennis’ trial will take place due to bar industrial action being staged indefinitely from Friday.

In total, 27 people aged between 15 and 44 have been charged with offences relating to their alleged involvement in the riot.

Most are charged with the offence of riot but a youth defendant, who cannot be named because of his age, is also accused of arson with intent to endanger life or being reckless as to whether a life of another would be endangered.

The disorder was sparked by the death of a local teenager.

Violence broke out during a vigil for 19-year-old Ethan Powell in Waun Wen Road, with the event descending into chaos during which cars were torched, homes vandalised and police officers were attacked.

Mr Powell was found by an inquest in February to have died of an “unintentional drug overdose”.

An independent inquiry found there had been “significant failings” by South Wales Police in their response to the incident.

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