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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Imprisonment charge dropped against Cumbrian man

A man walked away from court after no evidence was given against him.

Christopher Gunn, 27, of Buckle Avenue, Cleator Moor, was charged with imprisoning Toni Marie Armstrong and detaining her against her will at a property in Haig Road, Carlisle, between February 1 and 4 this year.

He had also been accused of causing Miss Armstrong actual bodily harm in an incident on February 3.

Gunn denied both charges and had been scheduled to stand trial earlier this month.

However, at an earlier hearing in connection with the case, it was alleged that Miss Armstrong had made a false statement about Mr Gunn’s actions.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Gerard Rogerson, prosecuting, said: “Since the last hearing, the case against Mr Gunn himself has been thoroughly reviewed.”

He then said the prosecution offered no evidence in relation to the charges against Gunn.

“As regards the statement by Miss Armstrong, she was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of public justice,” Mr Rogerson explained.

He also pointed out that Miss Armstrong was in the public gallery of the court and that the case against her was being investigated.

Judge Peter Hughes QC, presiding, said that allegations of domestic violence were taken seriously by the police and courts.

“It is important complainants understand that and there are consequences if they are not true,” he said.

Judge Hughes then recorded not guilty verdicts against both of the charges against Gunn.

He also sentenced Gunn for a charge of criminal damage, which he had pleaded guilty to at Carlisle Magistrates Court.

Gunn had destroyed a mobile phone SIM card, worth £10, belonging to Miss Armstrong on February 2.

Judge Hughes gave Gunn a 12-month conditional discharge. He said: “You will hear no more about this matter as long as you stay out of trouble for the next 12 months.”

Gunn must also pay a victim surcharge of £15.

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