A METAL bar was used to bludgeon a man about the head during a sustained attack at a Worcester traveller site which left the victim with a fractured skull.

Attackers John Pacer Smith and Jim Riley Janes admitted their role in the assault when the grievous bodily harm charge was put to them yesterday, bringing to an early end what would have been a three week trial at Worcester Crown Court.

The beating at Waterside Park, Offerton Lane, Warndon Worcester left the victim, John Mongan, with 15 separate injuries to his head and body.

As a result of the attack Mr Mongan had to spend a number of days in hospital.

The trial had been scheduled to begin on Monday with four defendants denying section 18 wounding (with intent) following the attack on May 6 last year.

However, there were a series of negotiations in the courtroom and behind the scenes between the prosecutor and defence advocates, the defendants and the victim, as the parties sought to bring the case to a resolution without the need for a trial.

Ultimately these discussions bore fruit and led to two of the defendants pleading guilty to the lesser charge of section 20 grievous bodily harm. Unlike section 18 grievous bodily harm, section 20 does not involve the admission of any intent to cause the injuries and attracts a lighter sentence.

The men who pleaded guilty to the section 20 were 30-year-old John Pacer Smith of Waterside Park, Offerton Lane, Warndon Worcester and Jim Riley Janes, 26, of Larch Road, Worcester.

This only happened after the prosecutor, Marc Davies, discussed the position with the victim, Mr Mongan, to see if this was an acceptable course of action.

It was agreed between the prosecution and defence that the attack was a category one offence, the most serious within the sentencing guidelines which attracts sentences ranging between two and a half years and four years in prison with a starting point of three years.

The judge indicated that the maximum sentence he would impose would be three years for Smith and 30 months for Janes.

The Crown offered no evidence against all four defendants on the section 18 grievous bodily harm count, meaning formal not guilty verdicts were delivered for John Pacer Smith and and Jim Riley Janes (who admitted the section 20) and their two co-defendants Henry Smith of High Street, Blaina, Abertillery, Gwent and Samuel Janes, 57, of Smite Caravan Park, Pershore Lane, near Worcester. Not guilty verdicts were also delivered in relation to the section 20 for Henry Smith and Samuel Janes.

The Crown also offered no evidence against John Pacer Smith on a criminal damage charge which related to the victim's Ford Mondeo on the day of the attack which also led to a not guilty verdict on that count.

Two further defendants - Tony Smith, 25, of Bryn View, Nantyglo, Ebbw Vale, Gwent and Bobby Joe Smith, 25, of Mount Pleasant, Stourport - had both been charged with intimidation against the GBH victim John Mongan and Charlene Lee two days after the attack.

Again the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence and formal not guilty verdicts were returned.

The case was adjourned until Thursday, July 25 when John Pacer Smith and Jim Janes are scheduled to be sentenced for the section 20 grievous bodily harm.

This was to allow pre-sentence reports to be prepared by the probation service.

Judge Jim Tindal said: "There will be ongoing friction between you as a group and Mr Mongan. I'm not being asked to make - nor would I in the circumstances - a restraining order but I'm going to say this - if there's any trouble, if there's any 'afters' about this, you're the ones who will get in trouble for it so I would leave well alone."

The officer in the case was DC Alistair Mulcaster. In 2014 we reported how John Pacer Smith's five-year-old daughter saved her father’s life and that of his family when their caravan caught fire in a freak accident.

Inside the caravan the time were his wife, six-year-old son and his two daughters, then aged five and 17 months.

At the time Smith said: "I'm just ecstatic to be alive and that the kids are still here. It could have been a lot worse. If it wasn't for my daughter we might not be here today. She is clever for her age. I went out and bought sweets and chocolates for her this morning and she's getting double the Easter eggs. She saved the day."