Keith Soons stabbed with screwdriver over iPhone theft

Keith Soons - Gloucestershire Police
Image caption Keith Soons died after being attacked on 5 February

A man was stabbed to death with a screwdriver after remonstrating with two street robbers who had stolen his iPhone, a court has been told.

Keith Soons, 36, father to an eight-month old girl, died from a single wound to his head.

The men targeted him as he stood outside a friend's house in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Michael Sexton, 28, and Richard Smith, 27, both of Cheltenham, deny murder.

Mr Sexton, of Moors Avenue, denies murder but admits one charge of robbery. Mr Smith, of Fairview Road, denies murder and robbery.

However, both admit being at the scene of the attack in Wellington Lane but the court heard they blame each other for delivering the fatal blow.

Mr Soons died in hospital after being found lying in the street by a passer-by at 08:00 GMT on 5 February this year, five hours after the attack.

'Seriously injured'

Prosecutor William Mousley QC said that, although the murder weapon was never found, the wound suffered by Mr Soons bore all the hallmarks of being carried out with a screwdriver.

"He lost his life over a mobile phone," he told the court.

"The prosecution cannot say which of the two actually inflicted the fatal injury but they were both together at the relevant time.

"Each accepts that he was there, each blames the other and denies having any part in the killing of Mr Soons. In fact, the prosecution say that both are culpable.

"They had both robbed him, they had both been acting together before and during and they continued to act together after the attack.

Mr Mousley said that the defendants did not call an ambulance and that it was possible Mr Soons might have survived if he had been treated more quickly.

Mr Soons' wallet and a ring he had been wearing were recovered but his iPhone has never been found, jurors were told.

The court was shown CCTV footage, which appeared to show Mr Sexton and Mr Smith leaving the scene, before going back and leaving again shortly afterwards.

Shouting heard

Mr Sexton confessed to his girlfriend he and another man - whom he did not name - had robbed a man of his mobile phone, the jury heard.

Despite Mr Soons giving the defendants his wallet the court was told Mr Sexton and Mr Smith were not satisfied and went back for the phone.

In an attempt to get his possessions back, the victim followed the pair up Evesham Road and a short time later, at about 03:00 GMT, residents heard shouting, near Wellington Lane.

Five hours later, Mr Soons was found with a deep wound to the left side of his head.

"It caused a blood clot, which was ultimately the cause of death," Mr Mousley said.

"It is obvious that whoever inflicted that injury intended to kill or cause really serious harm."

A pathologist said the stab wound was so deep it was likely the screwdriver penetrated Mr Soons' head right up to the handle.

Mr Soons lived in Gloucester with partner Sam Ramsey, 23, the mother of his daughter Tilly, who was eight months old when he died.

The trial continues.

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