Breaking Cannock Staffordshire

Two men have been found guilty of manslaughter following the death of a man who passed away 13 years after being assaulted in Hednesford


Bernie Peter Smith, 30, of Rowley Close, Hednesford, and Kyle Neil Smith, 33, of Pebble Drive, Blackfords, Cannock, were found guilty of the manslaughter of Craig Robins today (Tuesday 5 October) following a trial at Stafford Crown Court.

At approximately 9.20pm on Monday 30 October 2006, Craig Robins, aged 27, was seriously assaulted while sat in the driver’s seat of his car on Lomax Road, Hednesford. Following a collision nine years before, Craig was paralysed from the chest down and his wheelchair was in the back of his car. 

He received stab wounds to his face and neck wounds. One of the stab wounds had fractured his skull and caused a substantial brain injury. Due to the blood loss and lack of oxygen, he never regained consciousness and his parents cared for him at their home.

In 2007, four people were convicted for being involved in the assault – Gavin Dwayne Brown, aged 22 at the time, James Ainsley Milligan, aged 26 at the time, Bernie Peter Smith, aged 15 at the time and Kyle Neil Smith, aged 18 at the time.

Craig sadly died on 18 March 2019 and medical evidence supports that this is due to the injuries he sustained during the 2006 attack. All four men were charged in February 2021.

Brown, 36, of HMP Lancaster Farm, was charged with murder and pleaded guilty in June.

Milligan, 42, of Canford Place, Hednesford Road, Cannock, admitted manslaughter last month.

Detective Sergeant Katie Gregory, of the force’s Major Investigations Department, said: “This was a tragic case and we would like to offer our condolences to Craig’s friends and family.”

The men will be sentenced at Stafford Crown Court in November.