'Kidnap' victim feared for life in terrifying car ride


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

A WOMAN feared for her life when she was assaulted by her partner during a car journey from Mold to Wrexham, a jury was told.

The prosecution said Kelly Lavelle was tricked into getting into the vehicle with two men from outside her mother’s home.

A short time later, her partner Richard Griffiths got into the car and repeatedly punched her, said prosecuting barrister Matthew Dunford.

She feared for her life, particularly when he mentioned driving to Minera Mountain.

At one stage, she tried to escape from the vehicle, he said.

It was alleged Richard Griffiths told one of the other men in the vehicle, Lee Jones,
to lock the doors.

Miss Lavelle was later dropped off outside Wrexham Maelor Hospital where she was treated for her injuries

Richard Griffiths, 36, of Willow Bridge Court, Wrexham; Lee Jones 35, of Pisca Hill, Pentre Broughton and Luke Griffiths, 20, of Plas Alyn, Summerhill, are all charged with kidnap and assault following the incident on Sunday, February 15.

The jury was told Griffiths admitted the assault.

The two others, charged on a joint enterprise basis although they did not physically assault Miss Lavelle, pleaded not guilty. All three deny kidnap.

Mold Crown Court was told that Miss Lavelle and Richard Griffiths had been in a relationship for about three-and-a-half years and they had a child together.

Police were called to their address in the early hours of the morning, where there was an argument going on and she was taken to her mother’s address in Mold.

At about 8am the same day, Jones and Luke Griffiths appeared at her mother’s address.

Jones asked if she was alright and asked her to stay at his place.

She agreed and got into the car – but it emerged that Richard Griffiths had got out of the car at the Tesco patrol station a short time earlier.

The vehicle stopped, Richard Griffiths got into the back seat and repeatedly punched her, Mr Dunford said.

Miss Lavelle said it was as if the others knew what he was doing.

She was pulled by the hair and held in a head-lock but the others refused to help, she claimed.

At the hospital, she was found to have a five centimetre cut to the forehead, a black eye and swelling and grazing to the left side of her forehead.

The trial, before Judge Philip Hughes, is proceeding.

See full story in the Leader

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