Two guilty of murdering 26-year-old father Ryan O'Connor from Newport

Lewis Aquilina and Joseph Jeremy have been found guilty of murder. Credit: Gwent Police

Joseph Jeremy, 18, and Lewis Aquilina, 20, have been found guilty of the murder of a 26-year old father, Ryan O'Connor.

They were on trial with Kyle Rassis, from the Canton area of Cardiff, who has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Other defendants in the trial include, Elliott Fiteni, 20, who has been found not guilty of all charges, and Ethan Strickland, 19, who has been found not guilty of murder and manslaughter.

Joseph Jeremy, Lewis Aquilina, Ethan Strickland and Kyle Rassis have all been found guilty of robbery.

Ryan O'Connor was described as a loving and caring person Credit: Gwent Police/Family

Ryan O'Connor was found unresponsive on Balfe Road in Alway just after 9pm on June 10 last year. He had suffered stab wounds and was later pronounced dead.

Mr O'Connor's injuries included a 13cm stab wound that pierced his lung and heart and damaged two rib bones. He received another deep wound through his right back muscles and slash wounds to his hands, suffering significant blood loss.

Michael Brady QC, prosecuting, told a trial at Newport Crown Court that Mr O'Connor's death was a "murder that arose out of a robbery".

He said that according to witnesses, after two or more of the defendants had stabbed Mr O'Connor using large, machete-like knives, they drove off at speed, laughing as they went.

On the opening day of the prosecution case, Brady told the jury: "All five travelled from Cardiff to Newport in a Ford Fiesta stolen in the early hours of the same day, and on seeing Mr O'Connor wearing a Gucci man bag decided to rob him.

"At least two defendants left the car armed with newly bought knives used to attack and kill Mr O'Connor.

Joseph Jeremy and Kyle Raisis (L-R) Credit: Gwent Police

"The driver of the car was unfamiliar with the area and he drove up Vaughan Williams Drive, a cul-de-sac.

"They then had to turn around and drive back past the fatally wounded Mr O'Connor who was being tended to by members of the public.

"The driver slowed the car down, not out of any concern for Mr O'Connor, but to mock and ridicule him. Laughter was heard coming from within."

Prosecution said that people in the area took note of the stolen car's registration number and 45 minutes later police began a high-speed pursuit of the men after the driver refused to stop.

Officers deployed a stinger to deflate the car's tyres and the men crashed in Pentwyn, Cardiff, the jury was told. The men then fled but were arrested after a foot chase.

During the trial, Cardiff Crown Court was shown images and video of Mr Jeremy carrying a large knife.

Mr Jeremy denied "boasting" or being "proud" of having knives and said he was "just chilling" when a photo of him on a sofa with a knife was taken - and there was "no point" to it.

The court heard Mr Jeremy say he only carried a knife when he needed "to protect himself".

The jury also heard a phone conversation Mr Jeremy had with a man, during which Jeremy said he "didn't give a toss" about Mr O'Connor.

However, Mr Jeremy told the court he "wasn't thinking straight" when he made those comments, and now feels "sad for him".

Mr O'Connor's family described him as a "loving and caring person" who "will be greatly missed".

They released a statement after his death saying: “Ryan was a loving and caring person. He has left us far too soon, and he will be greatly missed by all of us.

“He was loved by his family and the local community, which is reflected in the support that we’ve received from them at this difficult time for our family.

“The whole family would like to thank everyone for the kindness they have shown us so far."