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Brothers jailed for life for hacking Risca man to death “like a piece of meat”

Published in News at 16:25, Friday January 16th, 2015.

By Gareth Hill

Gavin Harris (left) and Raymond Ball were jailed for life for murdering Stephen Lambert

Gavin Harris (left) and Raymond Ball were jailed for life for murdering Stephen Lambert

Two brothers have been jailed for life for hacking an epileptic heroin user to death “like a piece of meat” in a “horrific attack” at his Risca home.

Cardiff Crown Court heard yesterday, January 15, that Stephen Lambert “wouldn’t hurt a fly” but was stabbed to death when he was “vulnerable and defenceless”, lying on his sofa while coming off heroin.

Half-brothers Raymond Ball, 33, and Gavin Harris 29, took knives into Mr Lambert’s home on Twmbarlwm Close, Risca, during a drinking session on August 27 last year.

The court heard how Ball intended to use the knife to scare another man, while Harris picked up a blade because his brother did.

Ball, of Twmbarlwm Close, and Harris, of Holly Road, Risca, had taken amphetamine earlier in the day and were said to be bad influences on each other.

The brothers fell out with Mr Lambert after he told Ball to “get out of the flat and not come back”.

Peter Rouch, prosecuting,  said Mr Lambert’s cousin Louise Whately  saw Ball hunt for a knife in the kitchen before attacking his victim. Harris then joined in.

In a call to 999, after she locked herself in a bathroom to protect herself, Ms Whately said: “There are two men in my cousin’s flat. They’re stabbing him. I’m scared.”

When paramedics arrived blood was “bubbling” from his chest.

The court heard Mr Lambert suffered five wounds, including a fatal 10cm deep cut that went through his ribs and his lung, and a 11cm deep slash to his thigh.

He died at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport soon after being taken there by paramedics.

Mr Rouch said: “This was an attack by two men on one man. Both used knives to stab Stephen Lambert. At the time Stephen Lambert was vulnerable and defenceless, he had been unwell for most of the day.

“He did not have a weapon and at the time he was being attacked by both men with knives he was lying down.”

He also said Ball told Harris he had “stabbed Lambert to the heart”.

In a statement read to the court, Ms Whately said: “It was horrific. I’ve never felt so frightened in all my life.

“Sometimes I feel guilty because I ran into the bathroom. My mental health has got worse.”

She added: “He (Mr Lambert) never hurt anybody. To see what they did to him has ripped my life apart.”

Justice Mrs Nicola Davies jailed Harris for 21 years and eight months and Ball for 22 years and six months at a hearing today, January 16.

The pair were charged with murder under the joint enterprise law and pleaded guilty on December 17 at Cardiff Crown Court.

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