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Father’s anger as accused acquitted
A FATHER slashed in the face with a broken beer bottle has spoken of his anger after the 16-year-old accused of attacking him was acquitted.
Victim Graham Woodward, of Nelson Street, said he was still feeling the effects of the incident in Crombey Street last October and has fragments of glass in his left cheek.
But the teen, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent earlier this year and at a trial before the youth court at Swindon Magistrates’ Court in August, the charge against him was dismissed.
On October 15, 2011, Graham says he had gone to pick up his teenage son and after a row broke out he was threatened and stabbed in the face with a broken bottle.
He still alleges that the youth intended to harm him, but in court the teenager said he had thrown the glass rather than thrust it in Graham’s face and the panel of magistrates accepted that version of events.
The 58-year-old said the decision of the bench has added insult to injury and he has made a formal complaint to the Crown Prosecution Service, which said it had logged his complaint and would respond.
Graham said: “Both my wife and child testified independently that the youth defendant had broken the bottle on the front wall of his mother’s house, inserted a large shard of glass between his index and middle finger of his right hand, and stood in the road whilst saying ‘I’m going to effing stab you’.”
Graham, who said at the time he thought the teenager had a knife in his hand, turned to walk away from the situation, and it was at this point that his face was cut by the glass.
“Two weeks before the trial my face became badly infected and on going to the hospital I found there are at least half a dozen fragments remaining in my face, with the largest being 3mm in diameter,” he said. “It is nothing short of appalling that this youth with his attitude has been allowed to walk away smiling after what he has done to me and my family. I will be scarred for life.”
Graham praised the police but said he was disappointed with the response he received from the CPS over his complaints following the case.
He said: “The police were absolutely fantastic to us in their help and support, and even they were astounded by the outcome.
“The whole process was a waste of my time, my family’s time, police time, and tax payers’ money.”
A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “The CPS can confirm that we have received a complaint from Mr Graham Woodward and we will be responding to him in accordance with our complaints procedure. The youth was acquitted of the section 18, and therefore a section 20 cannot be brought.”