Trial clears man of Axminster assault claim

PUBLISHED: 13:22 22 September 2009 | UPDATED: 00:14 16 June 2010

Karen Elkington and Kevin Fuller.

Karen Elkington and Kevin Fuller.

Copyright Archant Ltd

A MAN has been cleared of beating up his former partner in Axminster. Kevin Fuller, 46, was found not guilty of assaulting Karen Elkington following a trial, held in Exeter last week.

A MAN has been cleared of beating up his former partner in Axminster.

Kevin Fuller, 46, was found not guilty of assaulting Karen Elkington following a trial, held in Exeter last week.

Central Devon Magistrates' Court ruled Ms Elkington's statement was unreliable and there was not enough evidence to convict Fuller.

Fuller, who gave his address as Midford Road, Taunton, stood accused of kicking and hitting Ms Elkington as they walked home from the Axminster Inn, in Silver Street, to her home in Beavor Lane on January 25.

Ms Elkington told the court Fuller had become jealous when a friend spoke to him about her ex-partner, who she had met the previous weekend.

She said: "I asked someone to walk me home. I knew the moment he started playing with the handbag and getting aggressive that I was in for a hiding."

She said Fuller punched her in the stomach, hit her across the face with her handbag and kicked her several times, and put his leg between her legs.

Elkington said she had tried to stop passer-bys for help and flagged down a car, which then drove on.

The court was told her injuries had included bruising to her lip, legs, hips, right buttock, inner groin and vulva, a semi-black eye, and swelling and a two centimetre cut on her right cheek.

But it was put to the court that some of her injuries were sustained by a fall two weeks earlier, her falling over a bench and being hit by the car she had tried to stop.

The court heard Ms Elkington had five glasses of white wine that night, and Fuller had four Magner ciders. Following the incident, Fuller drove to a friend's house in Lyme Regis, where he stayed the night.

In mitigation, Rebecca Bradbury suggested Elkington had, in fact, assaulted Fuller after she saw him "kissing a coloured woman".

Giving evidence, Fuller said he had children with a black woman, so Ms Elkington had been particularly jealous of the kiss.

Fuller denied he had hit Ms Elkington or stole £80 from her purse.

He became tearful when he told the court his mother had died three days before the incident and said he had not had time to grieve for her.

He said of his two-and-a-half year relationship with Ms Elkington: "It was generally very good, but when she was on her menstrual cycle I would be on tenterhooks with her."

He admitted he did not like people speaking about Ms Elkington's ex - with some alleging the two were having an affair.

He said: "I felt I was going to be a puppet again; someone used."

Summarising, Ms Bradbury: "It was not Mr Fuller who assaulted Ms Elkington.

"It was Ms Elkington who assaulted Mr Fuller.

"The reason we are here is because Ms Elkington picked up the phone and called the police and not Mr Fuller."

Three witnesses gave evidence at the trial.

After being cleared, Fuller told the Herald: "I'm over the moon.

"I have had this hanging over my head since January.

"It ruined my reputation - everybody's been thinking that I'm a woman- beater.

"I feel justice has been done and I want my name cleared.

"I have gone through hell.

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