Two men are due to be sentenced next month for their part in an attack that left a man with multiple stab injuries in a popular park in Aveley.
The 35-year-old victim had gone to Belhus Park, in Aveley expecting to meet Michael Thompson to collect a mobile phone he had bought from him.
Thompson, 28, told him a friend also had a laptop and games console to sell to him.
But when the man arrived at the park, he was confronted by Thompson’s friend, Lewis Dodd, who pushed him to the ground, kicked him in the face repeatedly and stabbed him multiple times with a knife.
The victim fell unconscious and woke to find his jacket, containing a mobile phone and a three-figure sum of cash, had been stolen.
He had been stabbed in his legs and buttocks, and had fractures to his jaw, nose, cheeks and eye sockets.
He managed to stagger to nearby Shannon Way, where a member of the public saw him and called an ambulance.
Thompson, of Mill Lane, Grays was arrested on March 4, a day after the attack.
He was charged with wounding with intent and robbery. He denied the charges and stood trial at Basildon Crown Court. On Thursday, November 15, a jury found him guilty of robbery and not guilty of wounding with intent.
Dodd, 26, of West Street, Leytonstone, was arrested on March 5 and released on bail. He then failed to answer bail and was later arrested in Cheltenham on April 4, following a public appeal.
The police searched an address in Tilbury, where he had been staying, and found a pair of trainers stained with the victim’s blood. The knife that was believed to have been used and the victim’s mobile phone were also found hidden at the house.Dodd pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and robbery at Basildon Crown Court at a hearing in May.
Investigating Officer DC Ed Gosling, of Grays CID, said: “The victim had known Thompson for a number of years and placed trust in him when he was told to attend Belhus Park.
“This trust was betrayed in a terrible way as the arrangement was only a front to lure the victim to the park.
“As the victim entered the park, believing he was going to meet Thompson, he was attacked from behind by Dodd and subjected to a vicious and sustained attack. Dodd only put an end to the attack when his victim was rendered unconscious.
“As the victim lay defenceless, he took the opportunity to search his jacket pockets and make off with the mobile phone and cash he had been carrying.”
Both men are in custody and will be sentenced on December 21.