THE JURY has been discharged in the case of two men who were accused of launching a deliberate attack on a late-night drinker in the centre of Newton Abbot. 

The jury at Exeter Crown Court were unable to decide whether Kai Webb and Lewis Botfield had intended to cause grievous bodily harm when they kicked the victim in the head.

The Crown Prosecution Service will now decide whether to ask for a second trial. The issue in the case is solely the defendants’ intentions because they have already admitted carrying out the assault.

Webb and Botfield were caught on CCTV kicking and stamping on Matthew Capel after a series of confrontations with a larger group of men of which he formed part. Everyone involved had been drinking before the incident.

Mr Capel was left with a broken nose and eye socket after being punched to the ground by Botfield in a service area near the back of the Golden Lion pub.

The jury was shown CCTV of an alleyway off Bank Street which shows the two men being chased before there was a further confrontation which ended with Mr Capel being left apart from his friends.

He was punched to the ground and both Webb and Botfield then kicked or stamped on his head or face. He needed hospital treatment after the attack on July 21, 2021.

Webb, 26, of Bowd, near Sidmouth, and Botfield,  25, of Drum Way, Heathfield, both deny causing grievous bodily harm with intent but both have admitted causing grievous bodily harm. 

During a week-long trial Miss Emily Cook, prosecuting, said Mr Capel was punched by Botfield and fell to the ground near the back of the Ridgways Alley and was then kicked in the head by both attackers.

Mr Capel had been out with a group of friends and had encountered Botfield and Webb near the Golden Lion. One of Mr Capel’s group took Webb’s rucksack because he had mentioned a knife and feared he was armed.

This led to a running confrontation between Mr Capel’s group and the two men at around 11.20 pm which culminated in the attack.

Miss Cook said the CCTV footage showed both men deliberately aimed kicks or stamps towards his head when he was already on the ground. 

The two men deny intending to cause the injuries and say they were frightened because they thought they were about to be attacked by a larger group of older men.

Webb told the jury: ‘We did go too far and I regret it. I did not intend to hurt him.’

Botfield said he also felt threatened and that he had not intended to cause serious harm when he punched Mr Capel to the ground and kicked him in the face.