A MAN has been warned he faces a long time in prison after he was convicted of robbing and attacking a homeless man in Wrexham, leaving him with serious injuries.

Judge Niclas Parry initially indicated he was intending to sentence Phillip Richard Collo, 43, immediately but he was persuaded as an act on mercy to bail him pending sentence on Friday.

Mold Crown Court was told he was the carer of two brothers with special needs and would need to make arrangements for their future care.

"I am taking an exceptional course – you understand that," the judge told him.

"You must understand you are looking at a very lengthy custodial sentence."

Arrangements could be made and it also meant that Collo could be sentenced together with a second man who had already pleaded guilty.

Collo denied being involved in two incidents in Wrexham which left the victim Martin Woolley with a fractured eye socket and ruptured spleen.

Collo, of Bryn Clyd, Leeswood, near Mold, pleaded not guilty to robbing Mr Woolley of his rucksack and mobile phone on May 20 last year, and a charge grievous bodily harm on him four days later.

But after a three hour retirement a jury unanimously convicted him of both charges.

In a victim impact statement, read by prosecuting barrister Simon Mintz, Mr Woolley said after what happened he feared going to Wrexham to see his family.

He suffered insomnia and night terrors, he had developed a fear of crowds and he had lost confidence.

When he made the statement in January he still suffered pain to the left side of his spleen.

He had also been left with feelings of isolation and insecurity.

The prosecutor said it was a sustained attack with a high degree of harm.

Collo, he said, was behaving like the leader of a group or gang who had been involved in both incidents.

Collo had previous convictions for 63 offences but the defence said they co-incided with periods of homelessness.

He had reconciled with his family, had been living with his mother before she died and she had been responsible for his two brothers.

The loss of his father 10 years ago had also affected him.

At the time of the first attack at 6.30am on Sunday, May 20, last year Collo was living in a tent off the A483 near Stansty Road, Wrexham.

Three men arrived and the victim was kicked through the side of a tent before being hauled out.

He heard someone shouting allegations that he had taken money from another homeless person.

Mr Woolley recognised Collo as someone he had known from the Wrexham homeless community and Jonathan Owen, 42, of Holt Road, Wrexham, who admitted the robbery.

The prosecutor said Owen told Mr Woolley he hated him before punching him and kicking him in the face.

He added: "One of the attackers said 'you have got until Monday to get the money back'. They then took his rucksack and mobile phone and said 'you better not tell the police'.

Mr Woolley was left spitting blood and went to Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

On Thursday, May 24, at about 8pm Mr Woolley said Collo was one of three men who approached and he was kicked a number of times.

At one point Collo kicked Mr Woolley in the face and said: "You better have the money this time or we will kill you".

The victim was in hospital with a ruptured spleen and fractured eye socket for more than two weeks.

Collo denied being in Wrexham at the time and said on the first occasion he was with his mother in Leeswood where they had Sunday lunch.

He said he later took a taxi to Wrexham but the taxi firm had no record of it.

Collo said he had used his mother's phone.

The prosecution said Collo's mobile phone had been transmitting from masts in Wrexham town centre both before and shortly after the attack on Mr Woolley.

But Collo said he had lent his phone to a friend at the time and another friend had picked it up for him and taken it back to Leeswood for him.

Collo was caught on CCTV playing football in Wrexham on the day of the second attack but he said he had been nowhere near the tents that day.

Collo denied knowing Woolley and said he had not been involved in either attack.

Mr Mintz accused him of lying in order to try and distance himself from the attack.