Three accused deny attacking and threatening disabled woman in a wheelchair
PUBLISHED: 14:48 11 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:48 11 October 2018
Two men and a teenager have denied assaulting and threatening a disabled woman in a wheelchair.
Peter Shackloth, 57, and Kyle Fenton, 20, both of Lynn Road, Wiggenhall St. Germans, near King’s Lynn, appeared at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court today charged with using threatening behaviour against para show jumper Susi Rogers-Hartley and possession of an offensive weapon.
Fenton was also charged with assaulting Ms Rogers-Hartley in an incident which took place last year outside her home on August 20.
A third defendant, aged 17, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged with threatening Ms Rogers-Hartley and damaging her wheelchair controls as well as assaulting her partner Simon Wheeler and her neighbour Barbara Morris.
All three defendants gave evidence in court this morning and have denied using threatening behaviour towards any of the victims.
The juvenile told the court he had been on his moped going up and down the road when Barbara Morris’s partner, John, had sworn at him and told him to leave in a threatening manner.
The young defendant said Ms Rogers-Hartley tried to run over his foot and he tried to get her to reverse by touching the wheelchair controls, but denied damaging them. The juvenile admitted to having their fist raised at Ms Rogers-Hartley and punching Simon Wheeler on the head, but could not remember whether Fenton had been carrying a weapon. Both Fenton and Shackloth also denied holding weapons.
But when prosecutor Nicola Pope asked Shackloth why he had said in his police statement that Fenton had “began shouting at everyone, grabbed a wheel wrench and waved it about”, he said he couldn’t remember.
Ms Pope told Shackloth he watched Fenton struggle with Ms Rogers-Hartley over the wrench and he pulled her out of the wheelchair and dragged her across the road, to which Shackloth said he could not remember.
Ms Pope added: “Today, you have conveniently lost your memory?”
In her closing statement, Ms Pope said that while there were discrepancies in the prosecution witness evidence heard in court yesterday, all of the witnesses were adamant about what they saw. “They were sure [the juvenile] was being aggressive, Simon was punched on the back of the head, that both men had weapons in their hands and Susi was assaulted in the way she described.”
But defence lawyers Alison Muir and Andrew Cogan told the court the prosecution witness evidence could not be relied upon.
“I question how credible their evidence really is,” Ms Muir added. “It can’t be relied upon to convict these defendants.”
Magistrate are scheduled to give their verdict this afternoon.