Neighbour attacked trying to break up lockdown party, court told

Best Park Cranbrook GSV

The party took place at a property in Best Park, Cranbrook - Credit: Google Street View

A neighbour who tried to break up a lockdown busting party in Cranbrook was allegedly assaulted and racially abused by a teenaged girl guest.

Rhianna Underhill used the 'N word' and asked the black man 'where's your visa' after he intervened to stop violence at the event in July 2020, Exeter Crown Court was told.

The police had already been called to the party, in Best Park, once but it re-started after they left and ended in a mass brawl.

Neighbour John Campbell, who lives in an adjoining road, went to the house after hearing noise of an assault and rescued a youth who was being attacked.

He returned to urge the remaining partygoers to leave and was allegedly punched in the face by Underwood, causing an eye injury that aggravated a previous diagnosis of glaucoma.

Underhill, also known as Maddocks, 19, of St David’s Hill, Exeter, denies racially aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm. She claims she is the victim of mistaken identity.

Thomas Faulkner, prosecuting, said several neighbours in Cranbrook went to complain about a party in Best Park on July 18, 2020, at a time when strict lockdown had ended but such gatherings were still banned.

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The police were called and it stopped briefly before re-starting and getting louder, with visitors apparently wrecking the house and attacking the host.

Mr Campbell went back and saw the householder on the ground being attacked and racially abused. He went to his rescue and got him out but was then attacked by Underhill.

He said: "He was approached by a white female in her late teens or early 20s in a hoodie who stood half a metre away and punched him in the face. We say that woman was this defendant.

"After she hit him, she began racially abusing him, saying he was a ****ing n*****r and asking, 'where are your visas'.

Mr Faulkner said Mr Campbell, his daughter, and another neighbour had all picked out Underhill in an identification procedure.

Mr Campbell said the party upset elderly neighbours and when he went back he could see it was 'kicking off'.

He said: "There were a number of youths and a lot of cursing and swearing. 

"There was a huge altercation taking place with foul language and racial slurs. 

"The television had been thrown around and it was carnage.

"There were 30 to 40 people there and it was horrific." 

He feared the host, who was being attacked, could be killed and went in to help him get out of the house.

He said he was then punched by a female who used the N word and told him to ‘get a visa’.

The trial continues.