A NEWCASTLE Emlyn man was part of a five-man gang which attacked a student in Aberystwyth and left him fighting for his life.

Second year criminology student Ifan Owens, 20, was found unconscious at High Street, Aberystwyth, on January 14 and was in a coma for a month.

Lee Andersen-Warnes, aged 20, of Min y Dref, Newcastle Emlyn, had previously denied causing grievous bodily harm but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of violent disorder during a hearing on August 1.

He was back before Swansea crown court on Wednesday (August 8) where he was sentenced to 25 months for his part in the attack.

Billy Valentine, 19, from Aberystwyth pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and was sentenced to seven and a half years at a young offenders' institution.

David Robert Lloyd, 25, of no fixed address, was jailed for three years and eight months and both Andrew Raymond John Scott, 23, of Llangwyryfon, and Michael Jones, 24, of Llanfair Clydogau, received 30-month sentences after they admitted violent disorder.

The court was told Mr Owens was with two friends when they were attacked after they "exchanged banter" with the men.

Mr Owens, who became separated from the group, was punched and kicked as he retreated down the road. He was hit with a traffic cone, then punched by Valentine.

The attackers were identified by Mr Owens' friends, who were driven around town by police officers following the incident.

A victim impact statement read on behalf of Mr Owens' father, Gareth Owens, said the family "feared the worst" after the attack. As a result of his injuries, his son suffered from fatigue, memory loss, hearing problems, and has issues with his speech.

In passing sentence, Judge Keith Thomas said all five men must share responsibility for the "devastating consequences" of their actions.

Following the trial, Detective Inspector Anthony Evans of Dyfed Powys Police, said: “I’m pleased that this investigation has concluded with the sentencing of the five offenders.

“This brutal attack happened in January of this year, leaving the victim Ifan Owens in a very serious condition in hospital. Thankfully he continues to make a significant recovery.

“The incident shook the community of Aberystwyth, and I would like to thank members of that community for their continued support and understanding during what has been a lengthy and complex investigation.

“Officers and police staff from Ceredigion and specialist teams from across the Dyfed-Powys force as a whole have worked tirelessly to find and convict those who carried out the attack.

“I hope the convictions for this attack will go some way to reassuring victims and the wider community that this level of violence is unusual in our area, but when it does happen, we will do everything we can to catch and convict those who have committed the offence.”