Pontllanffraith man cleared of attacking teen rugby player

CLEARED: Paul Harrison

CLEARED: Paul Harrison

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

A MAN on trial after being accused of attacking a teenage boy at a rugby game was acquitted today after a judge accepted there was no case to answer.

Paul Harrison, 42, of Brynteg Avenue, Pontllanffraith, denied two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against teenager Thomas Owen, then 15, and Nicola Palmer, at a game between the under-16s rugby teams for Bargoed and Risca.

Mr Owen, now 17, was a substitute for Bargoed and said he was standing on the sidelines when a scuffle broke out on the pitch around 15 minutes into the first half, on March 13 last year.

He said he was caught up in the fight, which ended up coming down an embankment when a man swung a punch at him, before he felt "kicks coming from everywhere."

Mr Thomas' mother, Lynne Owen, told the trial at Cardiff Crown Court that she had a clear view of Harrison carrying out the kicking.

Nicola Palmer, a parent at the game, ran over to the boy, then 15, and covered his head with her arms.

She said: "I could feel blows to my side and back. I had my head down and tried to keep Thomas' head out of the way."

Harrison denied the allegations and the court heard a submission of no case to answer from Harrison's defence counsel Peter Davies.

Judge Jonathan Ferris directed the jury to acquit the defendant and the case was dismissed.

 

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