Mayhill: Man found not guilty of rioting during Swansea disorder following teenager’s death

Dennis was one of three men who bought an old car hours before it was used in the riot.

A man has been found not guilty of rioting during a disorder following the death of a teenager.

Kye Dennis, of Fforestfach, was on trial at Swansea Crown Court accused of taking part in the Mayhill riot on 20 May 2021.

The 25-year-old was one of three men who bought an old black Vauxhall Astra for £250, hours before it was used in the riot.

The Astra and a silver Ford KA were set alight and rolled down Waun Wen Road.

Dennis insisted he was only there to “pay his respects” during a vigil for 19-year-old Ethan Powell that later turned violent.

Following his arrest a month after the riot, he told officers: “I was there but I didn’t do anything. When it got bad I left. It was disgusting.”

The vigil for 19-year-old Ethan Powell later turned into a riot.

An inquest into Mr Powell's death found he died of an “unintentional overdose” and a police investigation concluded there were no suspicious circumstances.

During the hearing, Mr Powell’s family reiterated their disapproval of the riot and said they in no way instigated it.

Dennis, who ran a recovery and scrap business, collected the car in Carmarthen and took it to Swansea, but was unaware of what was going to happen.

“I didn’t do nothing wrong,” Dennis told the court.

In total, 27 people aged between 15 to 44 were charged with riot-related offences, with 26 since pleading guilty.

Giles Hayes, defending Dennis, said despite hours of footage being recovered by police, none showed his client acting violently.

A total of 27 people were charged with riot-related offences following the disorder.

Before the verdict was returned, Judge Paul Thomas QC warned those sat in the public gallery that the jury’s decision “must be met with silence”.

But after the not guilty verdict was announced, one man shouted "yes" to which the judge responded: “You get out straight away. Get out.”

The man muttered a reply with Judge Thomas ordering him to the dock, after releasing Dennis and the jury.

Judge Thomas explained: “I gave you a clear warning not to react, then having reacted and I told you off, you then decided you were going to say words at me.

“I will deal with you at 2pm. Take him down.”