Sis­ter hits out after fa­tal drug-fu­elled attack on dis­abled brother

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - JAMES McCARTHY Re­porter james.mccarthy@waleson­line.co.uk

THE heart­bro­ken sis­ter of a dis­abled man mur­dered by his friend said it would have been bet­ter for him to have died that night.

In­stead Robert Young was left un­able to walk or talk prop­erly and died 16 months after he was hor­rif­i­cally at­tacked.

Richard Thomas was this week con­victed of Robert’s mur­der.

Thomas had taken 75 Val­ium pills and drunk 20 pints be­fore killing the 55-year-old by stamp­ing on his head.

He told po­lice his dis­abled vic­tim had hurt him­self fall­ing over.

Robert’s sis­ter He­len Young said: “We all said that Richard Thomas should have killed him [Robert] that night.

“It would have been bet­ter for Robert than to see him suf­fer like that for 16 months.”

The fam­ily have never dis­cov­ered the truth of what hap­pened the night of the attack.

“The only per­son who knows what hap­pened in that bun­ga­low is Richard Thomas,” He­len said.

“A cou­ple of times I tried to bring it up with Robert and he would cry. He could not tell us.”

Thomas was laugh­ing and jok­ing with Robert on the night of the attack in Fe­bru­ary 2014 be­fore the mood soured.

He­len said: “I don’t want to see him again.

“As far as I am con­cerned that man is dead.

“He means noth­ing to me. He never has, and he never will.

“He can go away and rot wher­ever they may put him.”

Be­fore he died, Robert needed a hoist to help him get out of bed, he had to wear a nappy and had lit­tle in­sight into his in­juries. His weight dropped to less than 7st.

He­len, 55, said she thinks Thomas should be sen­tenced to at least 10 years in prison for mur­der­ing her brother.

“We went through 16 months of sheer hell with Robert. We watched him from the time he was put in a coma to when he went on to the neu­rol­ogy ward, right through to when he died.”

The fam­ily were not ex­pect­ing him to die.

“We knew he was not go­ing to get any bet­ter, we were just happy that he was still alive.

“When he was in Rookwood, be­fore he went to Moun­tain Ash, there was a bit of progress where he was able to hold a cup. That was a big deal.

“He would lis­ten to us but he could not re­ally speak. But he would nod to say yes or no.

“That was some­thing for us to go on.”

In 2014 Thomas, of Tre­har­ris, was sen­tenced to nine years and nine months at Merthyr Tyd­fil Crown Court for what was then griev­ous bod­ily harm.

“Richard Thomas kept look­ing at me in court and giv­ing me dirty looks, as if I had done some­thing wrong,” He­len said.

“He even smirked at me one time. There was no re­morse there at all.”

Dur­ing his mur­der trial, Thomas told the jury at Merthyr Tyd­fil Crown Court: “I can’t re­mem­ber what hap­pened – it’s all a blur.”

“If I was in the dock ac­cused of mur­der, and think­ing that I couldn’t re­mem­ber what had hap­pened, the first thing I would have done would have been to say to the fam­ily, ‘I’m so sorry for what I have done.’” But there was no apol­ogy. He­len ad­mit­ted she felt sorry for Thomas’ fam­ily and said that she did not blame them.

“Robert can rest in peace now,” the mum-of-three and grand­mother-of­four said.

“We have fi­nally got the jus­tice we have wanted. “We’ll never get over it. “I’ve got Robert and David’s pho­tos by my side now.”

David was an­other brother of He­len’s and has also died. “I al­ways talk to them,” He­len said. “I talk to them when I am do­ing the clean­ing and lift up their pho­tos.

“After the ver­dict I looked up in the air and said, ‘We did it Robert, We did it!’

“But it has worn me down th­ese last cou­ple of years.”

Robert’s blood and hair were found on the sole of Thomas’ shoe.

Thomas de­nied mur­der, claim­ing di­min­ished re­spon­si­bil­ity due to the vast amount of drink and drugs he had con­sumed.

“Richard Thomas was a nasty man,” He­len, from Aber­fan, said.

“Once when I tried to throw him out of Robert’s house he spat in my face and once he raised his fist to me.

“I said, ‘Go on, I’ll go to the po­lice, I’m not fright­ened of you.’

“He would not pick on any­one who was ca­pa­ble of stand­ing up for them­selves. “He was a bully.” She told how he would take ad­van­tage of her brother by steal­ing money and be­long­ings from him. “I hate him,” she said. “I hated him from the night he did what he did to my brother and I did not like him be­fore that.

“If I could have Robert back would.

“I think about him ev­ery day, the same as I do my other brother.” I

He­len Young, sis­ter of Robert Young, in­set left, who was bru­tally at­tacked by Richard Thomas, in­set right, in his own home

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