Woman found not guilty of assaulting teens in Clevedon town centre row

PUBLISHED: 07:44 21 December 2018

North Somerset Courthouse.

North Somerset Courthouse.

Archant

A Clevedon woman has been cleared of assaulting a group of youths in Queens Square.

Deborah Lee, of Church Road, was accused of assault by teenagers after she touched the chin of a girl while confronting the group over suspected drug use.

The girl alleged Lee slapped her across the face, and another claimed she had been slammed into the shutters of a shop by Lee during the altercation, which happened just after 8pm.

The girl told North Somerset Courthouse, via videolink, Lee had approached the group and told her ‘you shouldn’t do cannabis, take heroin instead’ before attacking the girl and her friends.

Lee vehemently denied the claims on December 18.

Instead she told the court she had approached the group as she suspected them of openly taking drugs in public, something she said, shocked and appalled her.

Lee claimed she had told the girl she was too pretty to be taking drugs and it would ruin her life, before briefly cupping her chin.

After hearing another member of the group say ‘you assaulted her’, Lee and her partner, Chris Momber, left the area for fear of the incident escalating further.

Lee then went to nearby off-licence, Bargain Booze, and purchased a bottle of wine. Upon leaving the shop she was confronted by a man and a woman who claimed that she had assaulted their daughter.

Mr Momber told the court there had been problems with youths taking drugs, and setting fires in Queens Square and that he had called the police 20-30 times to no avail.

He said: “It has been a nightmare,”

Prosecutor, Michael Collins, asserted Lee had not seen the children taking drugs, just putting powder into a cigarette.

However one young witness admitted the male members of the group had been smoking weed, at the time of the incident on February 10.

Simon Brookes, chairman of the bench, said: “We found there was several inconsistences in the crown’s case including whether there was drug taking and the series of events.”

Lee was given a conditional discharge for touching the teen on the chin.

But magistrates said she was not guilty of assaulting the other.

Lee was also ordered to pay £400 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

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