North West Wales

Sisters and boyfriends guilty of Conwy father murder

Antoni Robinson
Image caption There had been a family dispute with Antoni Robinson about money, jewellery and property

Two teenage sisters and their boyfriends have been convicted of murdering their 61-year-old father, who was stabbed 15 times in his home.

Holly Robinson, 16, was found guilty three days after her sister Ashleigh, 19, was also convicted of killing Antoni Robinson in Old Colwyn, Conwy.

It was described as a family dispute over money, jewellery and property.

Gordon Harding, 20, who carried out the stabbing, and Sacha Roberts, 19, were also convicted at Mold Crown Court.

Following the conviction of Holly Robinson and Roberts, the judge, Mr Justice Griffith Williams, lifted an order banning identification of the younger sister.

The court was told that while Harding stabbed Mr Robinson, a retired antiques dealer and French polisher, the others were "secondary parties".

Image caption Ashleigh and Holly Robinson, pictured outside court, both wept after the guilty verdicts

Holly Robinson - who wept after the verdict - and Roberts were convicted by a 10-2 majority after the jury retired for a total of almost 12-and-a-half hours.

The judge will sentence them on Tuesday afternoon. He said that while life sentences were mandatory, he wanted time to consider the minimum sentences they would have to serve.

The court had been told Mr Robinson was stabbed 15 times by Harding as he slept in his bed. At the time of the murder last year Harding was living at Mr Robinson's house with Ashleigh Robinson and their baby.

The prosecution claimed the Robinson sisters and Roberts had been secondary parties to the murder and that they were part of a plan.

Self-defence claim

The defendants said the only plan was to get jewellery from the house, and there was no plan to kill or hurt him.

Ashleigh Robinson wept in the dock when the forewoman of the jury returned the verdicts on Friday.

Harding sat staring forward and sometimes looking over at his partner. His claim that he acted in self- defence was rejected by the jury.

The prosecution said Ashleigh Robinson was guilty of secondary murder on the basis that she was part of a plot to have her father killed.

The court heard claims that the killing was the culmination of a tragic family dispute about money, jewellery and property.

Mr Robinson suffered 18 wounds, 15 of them stab wounds, to his face, neck and upper body, including four stab wounds to his back.

The prosecution said he had been completely overpowered.

'Boiling point'

"This killing was the tragic result of family disputes over money, jewellery and property. The dispute reached boiling point on the night of the fatal attack, when the defendants met up at the bungalow," said prosecuting barrister Andrew Thomas.

After the attack Harding took off his blood-splattered clothes and placed them in a pile in the bedroom and placed a "commando-style" army knife with a 7in blade and a kitchen knife with a 3.5in blade on top of them.

He told Ashleigh Robinson her father was dead, had a shower, and then sat in the bungalow waiting for the police to arrive.

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

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.

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

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

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