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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Cumbrian man punched woman after shouting lesbian insult, court told

A man punched a woman to the ground after shouting homophobic abuse at her.

Ian McDonald, 27, of Seven Acres, Parton, near Whitehaven, is accused of kicking the woman while she was lying in the street.

He has denied a charge of assault causing actual bodily harm to Kimberley McConville – who was visiting Cumbria from the north east – on May 5 last year in Lowca.

Brendan Burke, prosecuting told Carlisle Crown Court that McDonald had spotted Miss McConville while she was smoking outside a friend’s house with a group of other women.

“As they stood outside smoking, two men emerged from across the road,” he said, adding that one was McDonald.

“He (McDonald) shouted ‘lesbians’ at the group.”

The jury of five men and seven women then heard that Miss McConville “took exception” to this and had responded, with an angry exchange following.

“He (McDonald) responded by walking over to the group and looking extremely aggressive. He threw a punch at Kimberley McConville which was extremely hard and threw her to the ground.

“She hardly knew what was happening and experienced an explosion of pain to the left side of her face. Then he kicked her while she was on the ground.”

Mr Burke added that Miss McConville had been bleeding from the mouth as a result of the attacks and had lost most of a front tooth as a result.

McDonald is also accused of two separate charges of assault by beating, which he denies, against two of the other members of the group, Chelsea Lyle and Sarah Rooney. The court heard they had intervened to try to separate McDonald and their friend but were knocked to the ground by him in the process.

Mr Burke said a Seat car drove up after these events, which McDonald got into, and then left the scene.

Peter Gilmour, defending, said McDonald had not attacked any of the women, instead claiming they had attacked him.

Cross-examining Miss McConville he said: “You spat in his face and attacked him. All he did was defend himself from you and your friends.”

He also said that the group of women had attacked the Seat car as McDonald had tried to get into it. Miss McConville replied: “Not at all.”

The trial continues.

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