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Jury to decide if man grabbed woman by the throat

Jury to decide if man grabbed woman by the throat

Thursday 28 October 2021

Jury to decide if man grabbed woman by the throat


The jury in the trial of a 42-year-old accused of pouring cider over a woman and grabbing her by the throat is due to retire today to begin its deliberations.

Scott Robert Harben is standing trial accused of a single charge of grave and criminal assault at a flat in St. Brelade on 27 February this year.

However, the prosecution argues that the incident was one of several incidents of verbal and physical abuse going back to 2012.

Although the jury will only assess culcapility for alleged February assault, the prosecution say the other incidents provide important context.

Mr Harben denies that he ever assaulted the woman. On the contrary, he argues that it was he who was verbally and physically attacked

Over the course of the trial, the jury was told of three incidents prior to the alleged assault this year which had involved the police: in 2012, 2013 and 2017. 

On each occasion, however, the woman chose not to pursue a formal complaint, on one occasion making a statement but then withdrawing it the next day.

On Wednesday, the defendant was cross-examined by Crown Advocate Simon Thomas, who put it to Mr Harbin that he believed he could “do what he wanted” to the woman because he knew she would not pursue any complaint.

This was denied by Mr Harben.

Advocate Thomas said: “On the three occasions when police attended, they found the woman to be injured. On each occasion, you have been present and on each occasion drink was involved.

“And there has been an issue between you and her on each occasion. You had been violent towards her on each occasion and to say that you weren’t the instigator is nothing more than a lie concocted by you.”

This assertion was again denied by Mr Harben.

On Wednesday afternoon, the prosecution and defence summed up their arguments. This morning, Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith, who is presiding over the trial, was due to summarise the facts and explain the law underpinning the case before the jury retired.

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