Ashleigh and Holly Robinson lose murder sentence appeal
May 13, 2011
Two sisters and their boyfriends jailed for killing their father in his sleep have failed in a bid to have their jail terms reduced.
Ashleigh Robinson, 19, and her sister Holly, 16, were sentenced to life at Mold Crown Court in February for murdering Antoni Robinson.
Mr Robinson, 61, was stabbed to death at his home in Old Colwyn, Conwy.
Lawyers for the four went to London's Appeal Court but had their cases rejected by the Lord Chief Justice.
The sisters' boyfriends, Gorden Harding, 20, and Sacha Roberts, 19, were also jailed for life for murder.
The siblings' mother, Joanne Barr, 45, received four years after admitting attempting to pervert the course of justice by lying to the police.
Barr, of Colwyn Bay, also challenged her sentence, which her lawyers claimed was "manifestly excessive".
Alongiside their automatic life sentences, the four murderers received minimum terms for their crime - the minimum period they must serve before applying for parole.
Holly Robinson was given an 18-year minimum term, while Ashleigh, both of Colwyn Bay, received a 22-year minimum. Harding was ordered to serve at least 22 years and Roberts, both from Colwyn Bay, received a 20-year minimum.
Lawyers for all four went to London's Appeal Court challenging those terms, but had their cases rejected by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge.
They claimed the trial judge adopted "too high a starting point" when setting their minimum terms.
The prosecution claimed during the trial that it was Harding who killed Mr Robinson using two knives in the process - one a commando-style blade. But the four were prosecuted on the basis of their "joint enterprise" in the knife attack.
Lord Judge, sitting with Lord Justice Leveson and Mr Justice Bean, rejected the appeals.
Daughters speak out over pensioner killing
February 13, 2011
The two daughters of a pensioner brutally knifed to death in his bed have spoken of their hatred for his killers – their own half-sisters.
Ashleigh Robinson, 19, and her 16-year-old sister Holly will spend a minimum total of 40 years in jail for the “Judas-like” murder of their dad Antoni Robinson – despite the court’s acceptance that they never laid a finger on him.
In a twisted family dispute over cash, property and jewellery, they hatched a “devious and greedy” plot to kill the 61-year-old retired French polisher antiques dealer with boyfriends Gordon Harding, 20, and 19-year-old Sacha Roberts.
Hours before the gruesome murder, Ashleigh sent her mum Joanne Barr – Antoni’s ex partner of 25 years – the threatening text: “Im going to kill him!!!!
But it was Harding, who was sentenced to life for murder, who committed the final horrifying act – fatally stabbing Antoni 15 times as he slept at his three-bedroom bungalow in Old Colwyn, Conwy, only metres away from a safe containing just £900.
Half an hour later Ashleigh, who has a baby girl with Harding, texted her mum: “Things happened, he is no more. Sorry mum. xxxx.”
Here, Antoni’s daughters from his first marriage to Susan Phillips – Claire and Amanda – describe how the agony of how that “single most shocking tragedy” has shattered their lives.
Today Wales on Sunday can exclusively reveal how the two sisters:
Fear their children will never know their grandad’s kindness and generosity;
Hate the fact they wanted their own half-sisters sent to jail;
Fear letting their children out of their sight;
Believe their dad was killed over just four pieces of jewellery, which held no value except sentimental value;
Now share a phobia of knives.
Daughter Claire Robinson, mum to six-year-old Drew, said that since she was told of her dad’s horrific death “it has seemed that my life has been put on pause”.
“I will never forget the day I was told,” she said. “It was the single most shocking tragedy in my life.
“For my whole life, my father has been my best friend, someone I could trust, someone I could rely upon and someone I could love dearly. That has been taken away from me.
“My six-year-old son will now grow up not knowing what it is like to have a grandfather. He will not know his grandfather’s kindness, generosity and how he was able to bring the best out of people.
“I have to come to terms with the fact that I will never hear his voice again, never see him smiling again.
“I feel helpless on a daily basis that I can’t have my dad back. The shock and stress of the way my dad has been taken from us has been almost unbearable.
“Every time I go to sleep I end up seeing my six-year-old in his place in the morgue.
“Whenever my son is out of my sight I am worried as I no longer look at people and see them with trusting eyes but instead find myself wondering if they are carrying a knife.
“I thought only good times lay ahead for Dad and the family but that has been taken away. It seems that those responsible did not want Dad to have anything good for himself or for him to be happy.
“I have had to have sleeping tablets prescribed to me by my doctor to get some sort of rest.”
The photographer told how she has developed what she could only describe as a phobia for knives.
“I have had to remove my kitchen knives from the work surface and now store them in a drawer,” said Claire in a victim impact statement she has given Wales on Sunday exclusive access to.
“I no longer view a knife as a tool but rather as a lethal weapon.
“I have been attending court every day to find out the truth about what happened to my dad and in the hope that those responsible would show some remorse, especially my sisters. I don’t know how my family will ever be able to start piecing our lives back together.”
Her sister Amanda, who also attended the harrowing three-week trial at Mold Crown Court every day, said: “Since finding out about my father’s death I have never felt such sadness and extremes of emotions. Every day I wake up feeling sick as the memory come back of how he has died.
“Not just me but my whole family have had their lives affected for ever.
“Not only have I lost my father but my daughter has lost her grandfather. How do I explain to her what has happened and that her own aunties were involved? She already feels the loss of her grandfather but how do I explain the full magnitude, of what has happened, to her?
“For the first few weeks I couldn’t face normal life. I could not get up in the mornings and take my daughter to school. I have had to seek help from my doctor for stress-related illness and not being able to sleep.
“I am struggling to let my daughter out of my sight because I am scared that something will happen to her.”
Amanda, who lives in Hampshire, also spoke of her fear of knives.
“I am sensitive about knives to the point that I have taken all my kitchen knives out and thrown them away, leaving just one small one,” she said.
“Knives were something I used before, now I can only see them as weapons.”
And Amanda told how she hated the way she felt towards her half-sisters after what they had done.
“I hate the fact that these people have been responsible for my father’s death and that I want my own sisters sent to jail,” she said. “I hate that they have made me feel this way and made me have such anger towards them.
“I cannot come to terms with the fact that none of them cared enough to try to help my father (as he was dying) or even call an ambulance.”
Amanda even revealed how she was frightened that when eventually freed “they will come looking for me and my family and harm us, as they were willing to kill my father over four pieces of jewellery”.
The sisters’ moving testimonies were presented to trial judge Mr Justice Griffith-Williams.
After the four defendants were found guilty of murder, he said not one of them had shown any remorse for the “awful murder”, and any distress they had shown to police at the crime scene “was more for their own predicament that grief for Mr Robinson”.
Sentencing them on Tuesday, he told Ashleigh and Harding, of Llanelian Road, Old Colwyn, they must serve at least 22 years.
Holly, who lived with Roberts at Woodland Road West, Colwyn Bay, sobbed as she was ordered to be detained for at least 18 years. Roberts was ordered to serve 20 years.
They had all denied murder but were convicted by the jury.
All four, plus Barr, were sentenced for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice after telling police a pack of lies after the killing.
The youngsters received no additional sentence but 45-year-old NHS worker Barr was jailed for four years for lying to the police after the killing.
Mr Justice Griffith-Williams said: “It is to be hoped that in his dying moments [Antoni] was at least spared the awful realisation that it was his own daughters who were a party to his murder.”
The prosecution had told the jury that at least two knives were used in the frenzied attack, one a combat knife with a 7in (17cm) blade and another a kitchen knife with a 3in (7.5cm) blade.
The injuries were so severe that Antoni’s jugular veins were severed, and he bled to death within minutes.
Harding, said the judge, was very much under “the maligned” influence of Ashleigh who had turned against her father, and was thought to be outside the bedroom door when the attack happened.
Roberts had taken a knife to the bungalow.
“You took it to pass to Harding knowing that he would,” the judge said.
“Your culpability was somewhat less, you were not as significantly involved in the planning, I am satisfied that you were more of a follower.”
The judge told Holly that despite her age, “you bear a heavy responsibility for the murder of your father” because the text messages proved that she was more than a willing participant.”
The judge said that he suspected that she too was outside her father’s bedroom although he could not be sure.
The plot was hatched after Antoni and his ex, Barr, started arguing over money. A few days before his death, two women went into an antiques shop in Colwyn Bay asking whether Antoni had sold them any jewellery.
Within hours of his death, Barr had phoned Eagle Star insurance – the company which help their joint mortgage endowment policy – to ask whether Antoni had tried to cash the policy in. The policy was still in place. Then the chilling texts that led to – and confirmed – his death began.The texts which led to the stabbing
The chilling text messages that led to Ashleigh Robinson, sister Holly and Holly’s boyfriend Sacha Roberts being implicated in the plot and charged with murder:
6.44pm on July 6, 2010: Ashleigh sent Holly the text: “its game on.”
6.45pm: Holly sent her sister the text: “We getting the big guns out.”10pm: then: “I knew you would do that.”10pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “Wat?”10.01pm: Holly to Ashleigh: “Not let m cum.”10.01pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “Its just dangerous Holly.”10.02pm: Holly to Ashleigh: “I can look out for myself.”10.03pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “Yeh fine i wil let u in then.”10.04pm: Holly to Ashleigh: “Cool, you not guna help at all.”10.03pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “Prob nt.”10.13pm: Holly to Ashleigh: “Why.You want it as much as me.”10.13pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “Yeh well i hve a baby to think.”10.14pm: Holly to Ashleigh: “Well I wont do it ever, do what you want.”11.21pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “U must cum and go thru the bk.”11.22pm: Holly to Ashleigh: “Is he bak?”11.23pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “Nt yet i will txt u wen.”11.46pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “Hes hme xx.”11.47pm: Holly to Ashleigh: “We will be on our way up soon x.” Midnight: Ashleigh to Holly: “Where r u? N mum wi u?”12.01am: Holly to Ashleigh: “We are at home. Yeah why? x.”12.01am: Ashleigh to Holly: “Make sure sach has his fone. And show this 2 mum ok. Dad jus said tht he got rid of mum at crimbo an he;ll do the same to me cos it aint working out. Btw he is drinking coffee.”12.05am: Gordon Harding to Sacha: “Sash. He goes tonight. Need your backup.”12.14am: Holly to Ashleigh: “We’re on our way. Hang tight. X”12.17am: Ashleigh to Holly: “It’s G. Head stright here and come.”12.21am: Ashleigh to Holly: “Keep ur mouth shut. Fone on silent.”12.22am: Ashleigh to Holly: “Dnt close gate either xx”12.25am: Holly to Ashleigh: “Ring me xx.”12.26am: Ashleigh to Holly: “We cnt. wats up?”12.27am: Holly to Ashleigh: “We’re on our way. We are guna jump over the front gate, no houses, no witnesses.”12.32am: Holly to Ashleigh: “Gate x.”12.34am: Ashleigh to Holly: “Wait at bottom of hill 4 ou.”12.35am: Ashleigh to Holly: “Wait 5 mins. G will txt u nxt xxx.”12.36am: Holly to Ashleigh: “We are by the kitchen window.”12.37am: Ashleigh to Holly: “He has his light on i think.”12.38am: Gordon to Sacha: “Don’t move 2 mins.”12.38am: Ashleigh to Holly: “Light is off.”Their victim dad Antoni Robinson was stabbed to death in his bed about 20 minutes later.Holly sent her sister the text: “We getting the big guns out.”
10pm: then: “I knew you would do that."
10pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “Wat?”
10.01pm: Holly to Ashleigh: “Not let m cum.”
10.01pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “Its just dangerous Holly.”
10.02pm: Holly to Ashleigh: “I can look out for myself.”
10.03pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “Yeh fine i wil let u in then.”
10.04pm: Holly to Ashleigh: “Cool, you not guna help at all.”
10.03pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “Prob nt.”
10.13pm: Holly to Ashleigh: “Why.You want it as much as me.”
10.13pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “Yeh well i hve a baby to think.”
10.14pm: Holly to Ashleigh: “Well I wont do it ever, do what you want.”
11.21pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “U must cum and go thru the bk.”
11.22pm: Holly to Ashleigh: “Is he bak?”
11.23pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “Nt yet i will txt u wen.”
11.46pm: Ashleigh to Holly: “Hes hme xx.”
11.47pm: Holly to Ashleigh: “We will be on our way up soon x.”
Midnight: Ashleigh to Holly: “Where r u? N mum wi u?”
12.01am: Holly to Ashleigh: “We are at home. Yeah why? x.”
12.01am: Ashleigh to Holly: “Make sure sach has his fone. And show this 2 mum ok. Dad jus said tht he got rid of mum at crimbo an he;ll do the same to me cos it aint working out. Btw he is drinking coffee.”
12.05am: Gordon Harding to Sacha: “Sash. He goes tonight. Need your backup.”
12.14am: Holly to Ashleigh: “We’re on our way. Hang tight. X”
12.17am: Ashleigh to Holly: “It’s G. Head stright here and come.”
12.21am: Ashleigh to Holly: “Keep ur mouth shut. Fone on silent.”
12.22am: Ashleigh to Holly: “Dnt close gate either xx”
12.25am: Holly to Ashleigh: “Ring me xx.”
12.26am: Ashleigh to Holly: “We cnt. wats up?”
12.27am: Holly to Ashleigh: “We’re on our way. We are guna jump over the front gate, no houses, no witnesses.”
12.32am: Holly to Ashleigh: “Gate x.”
12.34am: Ashleigh to Holly: “Wait at bottom of hill 4 ou.”
12.35am: Ashleigh to Holly: “Wait 5 mins. G will txt u nxt xxx.”
12.36am: Holly to Ashleigh: “We are by the kitchen window.”
12.37am: Ashleigh to Holly: “He has his light on i think.”
12.38am: Gordon to Sacha: “Don’t move 2 mins.”
12.38am: Ashleigh to Holly: “Light is off.”
Their victim dad Antoni Robinson was stabbed to death in his bed about 20 minutes later.
'Devious' plot of Old Colwyn murder sisters
February 9, 2011
Two sisters jailed for killing their father were guilty of a "greedy and devious" plot, family members have said.
Antoni Robinson, 61, of Old Colwyn, Conwy, was stabbed as he slept by his daughters and boyfriends who tried to steal the contents of his safe.
Ashleigh Robinson, 19, will serve 22 years, and her sister Hollie, 16, 18 years.
Their half-sisters condemned them for "continual lies" told during the trial.
The Robinson sisters were sentenced on Tuesday at Mold Crown Court. The judge described it as an "awful murder".
Ashleigh Robinson's boyfriend, Gordon Harding, 20, was sentenced to 22 years, while Sacha Roberts, 19, in a relationship with her sister, was jailed for 20 years.
The four and Joanne Barr, the sisters' mother and Mr Robinson's former partner of 25 years, were sentenced for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice after lying to police.
Barr was jailed for four years.
After the hearing, Claire and Amanda Robinson, Mr Robinson's daughters from his first marriage, said justice had been done.
Reading from a statement, Claire Robinson said: "As a family we have waited patiently to see these heartless individuals become accountable for their crimes.
"Today is that day and justice has been done.
"My dad was a kind and loving father, brother, uncle and grandfather.
"We have all been deeply affected and saddened by his death."
She said it had been proved her father had done nothing to provoke the attack and he did not deserve to have his life taken away so cruelly.
"This can only be described as a devious, greedy plot made more horrific by the fact that it was perpetrated by relatives we thought we knew.
"It has been heart-breaking for us all to sit through the continual lies that have been told in this case.
"Our lives have been torn apart but after today we will endeavour to put the pieces back together and embrace life again in Dad's memory."
The judge, Mr Justice Giffith-Williams, had said the daughters had been scornful of their father and abused his kindness, having worked their way back into his affections.
He said Harding was very much under "malign influence" of his girlfriend who had turned against her father.
The man who led the North Wales Police investigation, Det Ch Insp John Hanson, said: "I don't think these teenagers considered the impact their actions had that night in July on three generations of their own family.
"It does not give us any pleasure to see such young people going to prison for such a long time, but we take some satisfaction from the fact that those members of Toni's family who have been left behind may now be able to take some closure from the result of this case and the sentences handed out."
North Wales sisters’ life sentences for murdering dad
By Kate Forrester - DailyPost.co.uk
February 9, 2011
TWO daughters convicted of murdering their own dad have been sentenced to life in prison.
Ashleigh Robinson, 19, and her 16-year-old sister Holly will spend a minimum of 40 years behind bars in total after being convicted of the secondary murder of 61-year-old Antoni Robinson.
Ashleigh will have to serve at least 22 years before being considered for parole, and Holly 18 in a secure young offenders unit.
Ashleigh’s boyfriend Gordon Harding, 20, who stabbed Mr Robinson 15 times while he slept in bed at his home in Old Colwyn, will also serve a minimum 22 years of his life sentence, and Sacha Roberts, 19, a 20-year term.
The four and Joanne Barr, mother of the sisters and Mr Robinson's former partner of 25 years, were sentenced for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice after lying to police. Barr was jailed for four years.
Mold Crown Court was told Mr Robinson, a retired French polisher and antiques dealer, was murdered due to what was described as a family dispute over money and jewellery.
Judge Griffith Williams said the sisters had acted in a “Judas-like” way by pretending they wanted to make up with their father, before creeping into his home hoping to gain access to a safe in his bedroom, where they believed he kept money.
He said not one of the four had shown any remorse for the “awful murder”, and any distress they showed to police at the scene of the crime “was more for their own predicament than grief for Mr Robinson”.
After the sentence was passed, Mr Robinson’s elder daughter from a previous marriage, Claire Robinson, described the trauma she and her family had been put through during the four-week trial. In a statement read outside court she said: “As a family we have waited patiently to see these heartless individuals become accountable for their crimes. Today is that day and justice has been done.
“My dad was a kind and loving father, brother, uncle and grandfather and we have all been deeply affected and devastated by his death.
“It has been proved today, without a shadow of a doubt, that our dad did nothing to provoke this and did not deserve to have his life taken so cruelly.
“What has made it a lot more difficult is the fact it was done by relatives who we thought we knew. It has been heartbreaking for us all to sit and hear the lies in court.”
She said her family had been “torn apart” by what had happened but vowed to try to move on in her father’s memory. The family also thanked the Crown Prosecution Service, North Wales Police, victim support workers and Mold Crown Court’s witness service for their part in the investigation and trial.
District crown prosecutor for CPS North Wales Karen Dixon said: “This was an horrific attack on a defenceless man. The police investigation revealed Mr Robinson had been stabbed some 15 times, which highlights the savagery of the incident.
“The jury agreed with the prosecution case that, whilst Gordon Harding was responsible for stabbing Mr Robinson, all four defendants were part of a plot to have him killed.
““We would like to thank all those who supported the investigation and prosecution – particularly those who gave evidence in court.
“This has been, and remains, an extremely difficult and traumatic time for those close to Mr Robinson and our thoughts remain with them."
Old Colwyn sisters get combined 38-year sentence for murder of father
February 8, 2011
TWO "Judas like" teenage sisters were sentenced on Tuesday for the brutal knife murder of their father.
Retired antiques dealer Antoni Robinson, 61, from Old Colwyn, north Wales, was stabbed 15 times as his daughters and their boyfriends tried to get their hands on the contents of his safe.
Ashleigh Robinson, 19, and 16-year-old Holly "supported and encouraged" the frenzied late-night attack on Mr Robinson in July last year, Mold Crown Court heard.
The daughters were convicted of murder alongside boyfriends Gordon Harding, 20, and Sacha Roberts, 19, following a month-long trial.
The four had hatched a plot to sneak into Mr Robinson’s bedroom to find out what cash and jewellery was contained in his safe.
Harding repeatedly knifed Mr Robinson, who was asleep in bed, using a knife handed to him by Roberts as the girls stood by, prosecutor Andrew Thomas QC told the jury.
All four were jailed by Mr Justice Griffith Williams today who labelled their crime "Judas-like and wicked".
Ashleigh Robinson and Harding, of Llanelian Road, Old Colwyn, were told they must serve at least 22 years.
Neither showed any emotion as they were taken down to the cells.
Holly Robinson, who lived with Roberts at Woodland Road West, Colwyn Bay, sobbed as she was ordered to be detained for at least 18 years.
Roberts nodded at the judge as he was ordered to serve 20 years.
The judge told them: "Antoni Robinson was murdered in his own bedroom, stabbed 15 times.
"You were after the jewellery in the safe.
"It is to be hoped that in his dying moments he was at least spared the awful realisation that it was his own two daughters who were party to his murder.
"Two daughters who were, in fact, scornful of him. Two daughters who had appealed for his kindness.
"Two daughters who, Judas like, wormed their way back into his affections."
Sisters killed their own father in Old Colwyn
February 8, 2011
TWO girls have now been convicted of murdering their own father – even though it was accepted they never laid a finger on him.
Sisters Ashleigh, 19, and Holly Robinson, 16, were convicted by a jury of secondary murder on the basis that they were part of a plot to have their father killed.
It was Ashleigh's boyfriend Gordon Harding, 20, who inflicted the stab wounds – all 15 of them – which caused him to bleed to death in the bedroom of his own bungalow in North Wales.
But all three – and Holly's boyfriend Sacha Roberts, 19 – have now been convicted of murdering Antoni Robinson, a retired antiques dealer and French polisher, at Llanelian Road in Old Colwyn, in July of last year.
Texts sent in the hours before the murder implicated them in the plot.
Following their conviction at Mold Crown Court, Mr Justice Griffith Williams lifted an order that the deceased's 16-year-old daughter Holly should not be publicly identified.
Harding and Ashleigh Robinson were convicted of murder on Friday.
Yesterday Roberts and Holly Robinson were convicted by a 10 to two majority by the jury.
All four will be sentenced today.
Roberts remained motionless when the verdicts were announced but Holly Robinson stood open-mouthed in disbelief and then sat down and wept before being taken down to the cells.
The jury also convicted Harding of conspiring to pervert the course of justice by a 11 to one majority.
The prosecution say it was a tragic family dispute about money, jewellery and property.
Harding, 20, formerly of Pontfadog near Chirk, had moved into the deceased's bungalow with his girlfriend Ashleigh.
Holly had moved out with her mother Joanne Barr and was living with Roberts at a flat in Woodlands Road West in Colwyn Bay.
But following Mrs Barr's separation, there was a family row and they feared that Mr Robinson had sold jewellery owned by his partner and daughters and spent it on the horses.
That night all four defendants ended up in the bungalow and while the two girls hid in Holly's old bedroom, Harding and Sacha Roberts went into the hallway. They had a kitchen knife and a commando knife.
Harding went in and claimed Mr Robinson awoke and attacked him with the kitchen knife. Harding said that he disarmed him but during the struggle the stab wounds were inflicted.
But the prosecution said that there was no struggle – and Roberts described how Harding was on top of him on the bed attacking Mr Robinson.
He suffered 18 wounds, 15 of them stab wounds, to his face, neck and upper body, including four stab wounds to his back.
There was pooled blood on the bed itself and on the floor immediately next to it, but nowhere else in the room.
The prosecution said he had been completely overpowered.
"This killing was the tragic result of family disputes over money, jewellery and property. The dispute reached boiling point on the night of the fatal attack, when the defendants met up at the bungalow," said Mr Thomas.
The prosecution said that all were guilty of murder because they supported and encouraged Harding. They were all present in the house at the time, they knew that Harding was going into the bedroom, they knew he was armed with a knife and knew that there was likely to be a violent confrontation.
(*) Antoni Robinson was born on the 10th of August 1948. He was 61 years old at the time of his death. His parents were Polish and originally had the surname Burakiewicz. He lived all his adult life in the Colwyn Bay area. His main employment was as a self-employed French polisher and antiques dealer. He had worked as a clearer at Llandrillo College, although in later years he had worked infrequently because of ill health.
Mr Robinson in effect had two families. He was originally married to a lady named Susan Phillips. Together they had two daugthers, Amanda and Claire. Mr Robinson and his wife separated in about 1980.
He maintained his relationship with his older daughters all his life, even after they had moved to the South of England. Just before he died Mr Robinson had enjoyed a fortnight’s holiday with Claire and her family in Hampshire. Amanda and Claire described their father as a quiet, easy-going person.
Four years after his divorce, Mr Robinson formed a relationship with Joanne Barr. They never married but they had two children together.
They lived in a 3 bedroom bungalow with a garage underneath. Mr Robinson had built it himself in the early 1970s and he had lived there with his first wife. His parents had bought the property after his divorce and for about 10 years they lived there. After his mother’s death in 1992 Mr Robinson had bought it back from the estate and moved back in with his second family. The defendants claimed that he was ill tempered and sometimes drank too much.
Colwyn Bay murder: Knife taken to home “as a joke”
January 28, 2011
A YOUNG man jointly charged with murder told a jury yesterday he took a knife to the home of a man who was stabbed to death as a joke.
Sacha Roberts, 19, of Woodlands Road West, Colwyn Bay, along with Gordon Harding, 20, and his girlfriend Ashleigh Robinson, and a girl aged 16, all deny murder.
Antoni Robinson, 61, is alleged to have been stabbed 15 times – some to the back and the neck – in the bedroom of his bungalow home in Llanelian Road, Old Colwyn on July 7 last year by Gordon Harding, the boyfriend of Mr Robinson's daughter, Ashleigh.
Roberts told the murder trial jury at Mold Crown Court: "I thought, should I take this as a joke? It was not anything serious. I didn't even think anything about it."
Giving evidence, Roberts said he had not been into the bedroom that night.
Asked if he had at any stage given any encouragement to Harding to do what he did, he replied "I did not".
Roberts was asked if at any stage he thought that when Harding went into the bedroom with his Commando style knife, that he was going to injure Mr Robinson.
He again replied: "No I did not.”
Roberts claimed that Harding took the knife off him in the hallway.
Asked if, when he himself had the knife in the hallway, that he had it there for the purpose of injuring Mr Robinson, he replied: "No".
Roberts later told the jury he had just picked up the knife before going to the bungalow, where he believed the others were simply going to recover some jewellery from a safe.
He said he had just tagged along, did not give any thought to the knife, and did not know if Mr Robinson would have been home that night or not.
The former French polisher died after what the prosecution say was a tragic family dispute about money, jewellery and property.
His blood covered body was found on his bed.
He had multiple stab wounds including one wound which had gone straight through the neck.
The trial is proceeding.
Accused Ashleigh Robinson's 'shock' at father's death
January 26, 2011
The daughter of a retired antiques dealer who is accused of murdering her father with three others says she was in "shock" when told he was dead.
Ashleigh Robinson, 19, giving evidence in her defence, told Mold Crown Court it never crossed her mind Antoni Robinson would be killed that night.
Ms Robinson, her boyfriend Gordon Harding, 20, Sacha Roberts, 19, and a girl of 16 deny murder last July.
Mr Robinson, 61, died at his home in Old Colwyn, Conwy. The trial continues.
The former French polisher died on 7 July after what the prosecution says was a tragic family dispute about money, jewellery and property.
Ms Robinson, who lived with Mr Harding and their baby at Mr Robinson's bungalow, said that she did not want her father killed and never had any intention that he would be killed or seriously injured.
She told the jury that she saw her boyfriend, with a kitchen knife, and Mr Roberts, with a commando knife, leave the bedroom she was in.
Ms Robinson said that she and a girl of 16 locked themselves in the bedroom and believed that the others were going to her father's bedroom to look what was inside a safe.
Asked about the knives, she said she did not think much of it but did not think they would be used, other than to threaten her father if he attacked them.
The court heard that the bedroom Ms Robinson, her baby and the teenager were in was then locked, and she said she did not hear anything.
She said that she had not been in her father's bedroom at all.
When Mr Roberts returned, he grabbed the girl of 16, put his hands over her ears, and led her out of the bungalow.
Ms Robinson said she went outside with her baby but returned later to get baby clothes, and opened her father's bedroom door.
"Gordon had my dad in his arms and he was picking him up off the floor," she said, and broke down in tears.
Her boyfriend said "get out now", so she pulled the door to.
Mr Harding came out and told her: "I am really sorry Ash, but your dad is dead."
Ms Robinson denied that she had asked him: "Is he dead?"
"My mind went into a state of shock," she said, and she called her mother but she could not initially tell her what had happened.
"The words were there but they were trapped, I could not get them out," she said.
When she told her mother, she came around, appeared calm and took control, the court heard.
Ms Robinson agreed she had lied to police, but said that her mother told them to say that Mr Roberts and the teenage girl were not at the bungalow at the time.
She said that she was told to say that she and Mr Harding had gone into the bedroom and that her father had threatened them.
Self-defence plea in Old Colwyn murder trial
January 25, 2011
A 20-year-old man who allegedly stabbed his girlfriend's father has told a murder trial it was self-defence.
Gordon Harding said he lost control and could not remember inflicting all the injuries suffered by Antoni Robinson.
He said he wanted to look into a safe in the retired antique dealer's bedroom and froze in fear when he woke up.
Mr Harding, Mr Robinson's daughter Ashleigh, Sacha Roberts, both 19, and a girl of 16 deny murder in Old Colwyn, Conwy, in July. The trial continues.
The defendant had moved into Mr Robinson's bungalow with his girlfriend and their baby, shortly before Mr Robinson's death.
He claimed he wanted to look into the safe and took a commando-style knife with him for confidence and as a deterrent.
But he said Mr Robinson woke up and lunged at him with a kitchen knife.
The prosecution say Mr Harding, and possibly another, stabbed him, but that all four charged are guilty of murder on the basis of being present and encouraging, and that a plan had been hatched between them.
Mr Harding said Mr Robinson got in from the pub and argued with his daughter, and threatened to kick her out in the morning.
"Ashleigh walked away and seemed quite upset and angry at what her dad had said," he added.
He was asked about a text message he has sent to Sacha Roberts saying: "He goes tonight, Need your backup. Ready when you are".
Mr Harding said he wanted to see if the safe in Mr Robinson's bedroom contained any letter that could help Ashleigh's mother in her legal battle to move back into the bungalow.
He was ready to go in to see if there was jewellery, which had been the subject of a family dispute, in the safe.
"The door was closed. I opened it slightly... I opened it slowly trying not to make a noise. I started to move into the room," he added.
He said that as he got into the room Mr Robinson got out of bed, he froze in fear and dropped the knife to the floor.
The court was told Mr Robinson "lunged" towards Mr Harding.
There was a scuffle and Mr Harding said he saw Mr Robinson pick up a knife.
"He just came at me with it. I immediately grabbed his left wrist and we were struggling over the knife," he said.
Chest of drawers
Mr Harding said he managed to get the knife away from Mr Robinson, but he could not move away because of a chest of drawers.
"I pulled my right hand up to my left shoulder. That was the only place I could move to get away from him.
"He pulled my left wrist towards him and I cut him to the neck and to the rear of his right hand shoulder."
His barrister asked him if there was anyone else in the room and he said "No, not to my knowledge".
Asked if he caused all of Mr Robinson's wounds, Mr Harding said: "I accept that I must have, but I don't recall causing any more than three or four wounds."
He said he did not have any intention to kill him or to cause him serious injury.
"I only wanted to get out, to get away and get the knife off him," he said.
Mr Harding accepted that he said in a police interview that he thought he had lost control.
When asked why he had lost control he added: "It's just that I was panicking.
"It's just that I was terrified at what was happening."
The trial continues.
I sent text saying I’d kill dad... but it was empty threat
By Faye Greenwood - WalesOnline.co.uk
January 22 2011
A WOMAN charged with the murder of her father admitted to police she sent a text message saying she was going to kill him.
But in police interviews Ashleigh Roberts said it had been an empty threat.
Roberts, her boyfriend Gordon Harding, Sasha Roberts and a girl aged 16 are all charged with murdering retired antiques dealer Antoni Robinson, 61, at his bungalow in Llanelian Road, Old Colwyn.
The prosecution say that Harding inflicted the stab wounds but say that the others are also guilty by being present and encouraging him.
In police interviews read to the jury at Mold Crown Court yesterday she initially said she and Harding were the only people in the bungalow at the time. She said that after the incident Harding told her that he had stabbed Mr Robinson because he was upset at what he had said.
Later she admitted that before the killing she had sent a text saying she was going to kill her father, but said it was just an empty threat.
She also admitted Sasha Roberts and the girl had come over to the bungalow but she said that they had waited in the garden the whole time.
Robinson said she knew Harding had taken the knife into the bedroom. He told her he had it and she had replied: "Don’t do anything you don’t have to". She said she knew there might be violence and that someone could be killed.
In his police interview, Sasha Roberts admitted he was inside the bungalow at the time of the killing. He said he had agreed to go with Harding to support him, but had not entered Mr Robinson’s bedroom, waiting on the landing.
Roberts said the bedroom door was partly open. He saw Harding standing over Mr Robinson as he lay in bed and saw his arm come down. He realised he was stabbing him, but could not believe what he saw. He said it seemed as if Harding had gone crazy.
He said a combat knife said to have been used belonged to him but claimed Harding had taken it from him when they were together on the landing. He denied he had used the combat knife himself. He realised Harding might use the knife to threaten Mr Robinson or attack him but did not really think Mr Harding had the ‘bottle’ to stab him.
Harding, 20, and his girlfriend Ashley Robinson,19, Sasha Roberts, 19, of Woodlands Road West, Colwyn Bay, and a girl aged 16 all deny murder.
Mr Robinson died on July 7 last year after what the prosecution say was a tragic family dispute about money, jewellery and property.
999 call played to jury in Old Colwyn murder trial
January 18, 2011
The former partner of a retired antiques dealer made a 999 call saying that his daughter's boyfriend had stabbed him, a court has heard.
Mold Crown Court heard a recording of Joanne Barr telling an operator Gordon Harding had stabbed Antoni Robinson, 61, at his home in Old Colwyn, Conwy.
Mr Harding, 20, Mr Robinson's daughter Ashleigh Robinson, 19, Sacha Roberts, 19, and a 16-year-old girl deny murder.
The trial before Mr Justice Griffith-Williams is proceeding.
The jury heard how Miss Barr told the 999 operator last July that she presumed that Mr Robinson, who was stabbed while sleeping, was dead but she had not checked.
She said Mr Harding had done it, and claimed that Mr Robinson had threatened his daughter and her baby, whose father is Mr Harding.
The first police officer to arrive at the house, at 0146 BST, was dog handler Pc Rhian Evans, the court was told.
'Hugging each other'
Pc Evans found the four defendants together in the living room, hugging each other.
She arrested Mr Harding on suspicion of wounding but after seeing the body, she arrested him on suspicion of murder.
The court heard another officer and a paramedic later found Mr Robinson lying on the bed with his feet on the floor.
He had no pulse, was not breathing and an ECG test confirmed that he was dead.
The court heard that Mr Robinson, died after receiving multiple stab wounds on 7 July last year at his bungalow home at Llanelian Road, Old Colwyn.
The prosecution said it was a tragic family dispute about money, jewellery and property.
Andrew Thomas, prosecuting, told the jury that at the very least the four defendants were guilty of murder because they supported and encouraged Mr Harding.
They were all present in the house at the time.
"They knew that Harding was going into the bedroom," he said.
"They knew that Harding was armed with a knife. They knew that there was likely to be a violent confrontation. The prosecution say that they are therefore guilty of murder as secondary parties."
Mr Thomas said that in the case of Gordon Harding, he admitted using the knife to cause injuries to Mr Robinson.
He said Mr Harding claimed that he was acting in self defence, but that Mr Robinson had suffered 19 wounds, 15 stab wounds, some of which were to the back.
All four also face a charge of perverting the course of public justice. Mr Harding denies this charge but the others admit it.
Daughter and three others deny father Old Colwyn murder
January 17, 2011
A retired antiques dealer was stabbed to death in his bed in a row involving his daughter, whose boyfriend struck the fatal blows, a court has heard.
Antoni Robinson, 61, was killed at his bungalow in Old Colwyn, Conwy, in a dispute about money, jewellery and property, Mold Crown Court was told.
The court heard he was stabbed at least 15 times as he slept in July year.
Gordon Harding, 20, Mr Robinson's daughter, Ashleigh, Sacha Roberts, both 19, and a girl of 16 all deny murder.
All four also face a charge of perverting the course of public justice. Mr Harding denies this charge but the others admit it.
Opening the case on Monday, Andrew Thomas QC, prosecuting, said Mr Robinson did not appear to have put up much of a struggle despite his wounds.
The court heard that at least some of the wounds had been inflicted by Mr Harding.
He said: "It appears that Mr Robinson had not been able to fight back or to escape. The prosecution say that Mr Robinson must have been completely overpowered by his attacker or attackers."
The court was told the four defendants were in the property at the time.
Mr Thomas said: "The dreadful fact is that the persons responsible for the killing are the deceased's own daughter Ashleigh, her boyfriend Gordon Harding, a girl of 16, and another young man Sacha Roberts.
"This killing was the tragic result of family disputes over money, jewellery and property. The dispute reached boiling point on the night of the fatal attack, when the defendants met up at the house.
"They waited until Mr Robinson was asleep, then one or more of them entered his bedroom.
"Not even the ornaments on the bedside table had been disturbed. He must have been completely overpowered."
The prosecution told the jury that at least two knives had been used, one a combat knife with a 7-in (17cm) blade and another a kitchen knife with a 3-in (7.5cm) blade.
The injuries were so severe that Mr Robinson's jugular veins were severed, and he bled to death within minutes.
Mr Thomas said all four defendants were responsible for the death, even if not all of them had wielded the knives.
The trial is expected to last at least three weeks.
Fourth teenager on joint North Wales murder charge
By David Powell - DailyPost.co.uk
July 14, 2010
A FOURTH person was yesterday jointly charged with the murder of a 61-year-old dad.
The body of Antoni David Robinson was found at a bungalow in Llanelian Road, Old Colwyn, early on July 7.
A 16 year old girl from the Colwyn Bay area has now been jointly charged with killing the French polisher.
The teenager, who cannot be named to protect her identity, will appear before Llandudno magistrates today.
Other teenagers Ashleigh Tonia Robinson, who is Mr Robinson’s 18-year-old daughter, and Gorden Harding, 19, were remanded in custody on Friday after also being charged jointly with murder. The pair, who are both of no fixed address, will appear at Caernarfon Crown Court on Friday.
Yesterday another defendant, Sacha Andrew Powell Roberts, 19, of Woodland Road West, Colwyn Bay, who is also jointly charged with murdering Mr Robinson, appeared at Caernarfon Crown Court. He spoke only to confirm his name during the four-minute hearing. Judge Merfyn Hughes QC heard no bail application was being made and the case was adjourned until Friday, when Roberts will be joined in the dock by Robinson and Harding for a preliminary hearing. Neither Robinson nor Harding were in court yesterday. Lawyers said they were also not making a bail application at this stage.
Friends have paid tribute to Mr Robinson who was well known in the Colwyn Bay area.
Daughter accused of murdering her father in Old Colwyn
By David Powell - DailyPost.co.uk
July 9, 2010
A DAUGHTER has appeared in court accused of murdering her own father.
Ashleigh Tonia Robinson, 18, is jointly charged with Gordon William Harding, 19, over the killing of Antoni David Robinson, 61.
Mr Robinson was found dead in his home in Llanelian Road in Old Colwyn, on July 7.
The two accused, both of no fixed address, were arrested and charged with murder.
The pair spoke only to confirm their names and dates of birth, during the five minute hearing at Llandudno Magistrates court on Friday morning.
Prosecutor Philip Clemo successfully applied for the matter to be adjourned to Caernarfon crown court for a preliminary hearing on July 16.
No application was made for bail and the pair did not enter pleas.
Chairman of the bench Mrs Ann McLaren remanded the defendants in custody.