Man cleared of assault at station

PUBLISHED: 12:29 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

THE cause of a man s tumble down a flight of stairs remains unclear after a judge dismissed an assault case this week. Stuart Clarke said he was quite battered as he fell down around 10 steps at Stevenage railway station February 1. In Stevenage Magist

THE cause of a man's tumble down a flight of stairs remains unclear after a judge dismissed an assault case this week.

Stuart Clarke said he was "quite battered" as he fell down around 10 steps at Stevenage railway station February 1.

In Stevenage Magistrates' Court on Monday, Mr Clarke alleged that Timothy Smith, 34, from Icknield Close in Ickleford, had knocked him as they went in opposite directions on the crowded stairs to the northbound platform.

Mr Clarke was heading up the stairs and Mr Smith down, against the flow of traffic.

Mr Clarke said: "He basically ran straight into me and took me straight off my feet."

Chris Reeves, prosecuting, said that Mr Smith had told police there were 30 to 40 people in the stairwell and in his statement had said "so what I done was pushed them to the side and walked on. Some guy moaned and shouted".

Mr Reeves said Mr Smith knew his train was on the platform and was in a hurry to catch it.

"I'm not saying he was trying to attack anyone, he was just trying to get down the stairs and if anyone was in his way he was pushing them," he said.

A statement from a Dr Asim Ateeq at Lister Hospital at Stevenage said that when Mr Clarke went to the hospital later that day he was suffering from painful right lower ribs, a painful right side of his neck and had grazes on his shoulders.

But Bobby Dhillon, defending, branded the evidence given by the prosecution as "not credible".

He said that some of Mr Clarke's description of events was contradicted by CCTV footage of the incident.

Mr Dhillion added: "It's the actions of the Crown witness which leads him to fall down the stairs."

Mr Smith, who pleaded not guilty to assault, denied that he had pushed Mr Clarke.

He said he had tried to go "in and out" of the oncoming crowd.

He added: "I turned around, he [Mr Clarke] was pushing me, I put myself to the left and he came by me.

"I was trying to catch the train but there's trains every 10 minutes to Hitchin.

"I didn't push him, he bumped into me and he pushed me."

Mr Smith also claimed he hadn't really understood the questions put to him by police when he was interviewed about the incident and that his standard of English was "not very good".

Dismissing the case, district judge Gillian Allison said to Mr Smith: "I'm quite sure that your behaviour on that date did you no credit. What I'm not satisfied on is what caused Mr Clarke to fall.

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