The defence of man in his 40’s accused of drunkenly forcing his way into the home of a woman before assaulting her, opened with his lawyer reminding the jury that, “...there are two sides to every story.”
Advocate Jeremy Heywood was representing Daniel Charles Cornish (46) who denies the charges of illegal entry and assault brought against him.
Having heard just over one day of evidence in this case, the jury have now retired to consider their verdict in this case.
According to Mr Cornish’s alleged victim – who gave evidence before the jury yesterday – Mr Cornish forced his way into her flat through her kitchen window before pulling her hair, punching her and restraining her when she tried to phone the Police.
Pictured: The trial started in the Royal Court this week.
On the second day of his trial, Mr Cornish took to the stand to refute these allegations himself.
Opening the defence case, Advocate Heywood told the seven women and five men of the jury that his client is, “...adamant that these allegations are a fabrication from [the complainant] designed to get him into trouble.”
Electing to give evidence on his own behalf, Mr Cornish testified that he hadn’t started the argument as the woman had claimed, but that she had started to get angry with him and was bringing up a previous disagreement between the two of them.
“She just gets angry really quickly,” he remarked, answering questions from his own advocate.
He said that he left the flat, telling her to “calm down,” and he later returned to talk with her about their argument.
The woman claimed that when Mr Cornish knocked on the door, she refused to let him in and opened the kitchen window a little so that he could hear her telling him to leave more clearly. She accuses him of forcing his way through the window and then attacking her, all whilst preventing her from calling the authorities.
On his account, “she was actually talking to me” and then when she walked away into the lounge area, he climbed through the window to continue their discussion.
Pictured: Daniel Cornish gave evidence on his own behalf on the second day of his trial.
Advocate Heywood asked his client why he had told Police that he hadn’t climbed through the woman’s window during his interview, if he had.
To this, Mr Cornish said that he “got scared of going to jail” and that he “tried to get out of it.”
But the defendant was adamant that the woman’s account of there being a physical struggle at the window was “not true.”
Once he was in the flat, Mr Cornish told the jury that the woman “stood straight up and started phoning the Police.”
He also admitted that he had tried to take her phone from her.
“I was pulling [the phone] to try and get her to stop phoning the Police.”
Mr Cornish continued by saying that as he was grabbing the top of the phone and she the bottom, he lost his grip and they both fell backwards.
It was at this point that he said he “just panicked” and ran out of the flat.
Mr Cornish maintained: “I did not assault her at all. I did not lay a hand on her.”
Facing a grilling from Crown Advocate Julian Gollop – leading the prosecution case – Mr Cornish answered questions about his criminal record.
The Crown Advocate focused on inconsistencies between Mr Cornish’s account in Police interview and in Court, “frustrated” text messages he had sent the woman in the lead up to the alleged assault and unsolicited comments he made to arresting officers which suggested that the accusations were the woman’s “revenge” for a previous disagreement.
Pictured: Crown Advocate Julian Gollop is leading the case for the prosecution.
Mr Cornish accepted that he “lied” to Police about going in through the window, but he insisted that he did not assault the complainant, nor did he go into her flat with the intention of committing an offence.
In closing, the prosecutor made his final attempts to convince the jury of Mr Cornish’s guilt, urging them that the evening in question “only makes sense if you accept [the complainant’s] account.”
“Daniel Cornish is a violent man. When he doesn’t get his own way he resorts to violence,” Crown Advocate Gollop warned the jurors.
Closing the case for the defence, Advocate Heywood dismissed the complainant’s testimony as “not credible” and that “she is not an honest witness.” Pointing to “inconsistencies” in the woman’s account of the alleged incidents, the defence lawyer told the jurors that they should rather rely on his client’s evidence which he said was “clear, consistent [and] credible.”
He therefore invited the jury to acquit Mr Cornish.
The Bailiff Tim Le Cocq is presiding over the trial, and he later gave directions to the jury as to the law in this case, before summing up the evidence they have heard and then inviting them to retire to their deliberations.
The jury are now considering their verdict.
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