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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Woman assaulted sister-in-law in town centre pub

A WHITEHAVEN woman has been found guilty of assaulting another woman in a town centre pub.

Helen Gilmour, 35, of Bransty Road, grabbed Claire Rudd by the hair and kneed her in the head while she was on the floor in the North pub in the early hours of March 15.

Gilmour, who was sentenced to an eight-week curfew (8pm to 7am) for the attack, had denied the offence, saying: “I wouldn’t dream of doing anything like that.”

Further to the curfew, she was ordered to pay £250 costs and £100 compensation to Mrs Rudd.

Whitehaven magistrates heard that there had been an incident between Gilmour and Mrs Rudd, who are sisters-in-law, earlier in the evening in The Central pub on Duke Street.

The women were on a night out with separate parties but ran into each other in The Central when the first incident occurred.

The court was told there had been ill-feeling between the pair due to the breakdown of Mrs Rudd’s marriage to Gilmour’s brother a number of years earlier.

There was an exchange of words and a short scuffle before both parties went their separate ways.

However, they ran into one another again in North later that night and the more serious incident took place.

It resulted in Gilmour taking Mrs Rudd to the floor after a bout of hair pulling and Gilmour kneeing the victim in the head before they were separated by doorstaff.

Mrs Rudd told the court: “I felt my hair being grabbed and I went down to the floor and was kicked or punched in the head and ribs about five times. I had bruises and red marks all over my face and neck.”

Mrs Rudd added that she attended West Cumberland Hospital for treatment for her injuries.

Gilmour alleged that Mrs Rudd had been the aggressor in both incidents, saying: “She went for me and went for my hair. I was defending myself. It was broken up in seconds and I definitely didn’t kick her and I can’t believe anyone would say that about me.”

However, magistrates accepted that the evidence of the two independent witnesses was “credible” and found the defendant guilty on that basis.

Beverley Dodd, manager of North, witnessed the incident. She told the court: “I didn’t see how it started but the kneeing looked like it was deliberate.” And door supervisor Eric Tinnison added that he saw Gilmour standing over Mrs Rudd, holding her by the hair.

In Gilmour’s defence, witness Tony McLaughlin was in the defendant’s party on the night out.

“Claire approached Helen and grabbed her by the hair and Helen grabbed back,” he said. “I’m sure they didn’t go to ground and there were no knees to the head.”

In finding Gilmour guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm, presiding magistrate Ian Killip said: “The evidence from the independent witnesses, Miss Dodd and Mr Tinnison, is straightforward and credible.

“You (Gilmour) had both hands holding her and were seen to deliberately knee Claire Rudd in the side of her head.”

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