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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Trial day three: Accused in Barrow beating trial ‘horrified’ over injuries

A MAN accused of battering a gym boss told police he was “absolutely horrified” to hear about the victim’s injuries.

Report from day four: Barrow accused ‘panicked’ and did not want to fight
Report from day two: Trial over Barrow gym boss assault continues
Report from day one: Neighbour ‘sickened’ by Barrow attack

Callum O’Hare, 24, told detectives in interview: “I only hit him a couple of times in a struggle.”

He claimed the victim, Stan Dewhurst, was a cage fighter and someone who had previously threatened to “smash his head in”.

O’Hare, of Abbey Road, Barrow, is on trial at Preston Crown Court where he denies a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and an alternative charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm in March 2012.

The prosecution alleges Mr Dewhurst, who owns Flex Appeal gym in Barrow, was subjected to a sustained and unprovoked attack which resulted in facial fractures.

It has been claimed that O’Hare had punched him possibly 10 or a dozen times, sitting astride him after he fell to the floor.

Mr Dewhurst is said to have earlier gone round to try and sort things out amicably after the defendant allegedly invited him by text to a fight.

Mr Dewhurst sustained fractures to his upper right jaw, eye socket and lower jaw. Four metal plates were inserted during surgery.

The jury has been hearing details of O’Hare’s police interviews in 2012.

During one series of questioning, he told officers: “I have never ever wanted to intentionally do that to someone, not even after all the goading he has been doing.”

O’Hare said he had not known what to expect when Mr Dewhurst turned up one night near his home.

He said: “He jumped over from the field and started kicking at me. I am guessing he was doing some sort of martial arts.

“He kicked me a couple of times. I grabbed his leg and punched him. We have gone down struggling. It’s all like a big mess.”

He said the two of them had been trying to punch each other and Mr Dewhurst managed to push him off.

O’Hare believed he had punched him three times, possibly a couple more. He did not feel that he had been “over the top” in his reactions and “never in a million years” would he have intended to cause such injury to someone.

The trial continues.

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