Councillor denies assaulting his former partner

A CHORLEY councillor has appeared in court accused of attacking his partner.

Saturday, 22nd October 2016, 1:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:52 pm
Photo : Ian Robinson Election night at Chorley Town Hall Result Clayton-le-Woods Steve Murfitt (Lab)

Stephen Murfitt, 56, of Pear Tree Road, Clayton-le-Woods, Chorley, denies causing actual bodily harm to his former partner on May 9 last year and a further charge of assaulting her on January 18 this year.

The councillor, who represents Clayton-le-Woods North and was suspended by the Labour Party on his arrest in April, is accused of thrusting a cup of tea into her face while she was wearing glasses, causing a cut to her eye, during a row.

In a second incident – allegedly witnessed by two children – he is said to have squeezed her neck.

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Prosecuting, Tania Griffith QC said: “They had been in a relationship three to four years and that relationship came to an end following the later incident in January this year.

“The parties had been out drinking together and had returned home and an argument had started. She was upstairs and had brought a cup of tea up to bed with her.

“The argument continued whilst in the bedroom at which point the Crown say he has picked up the cup of tea and pushed it into her face. It caused a cut under her left eye and has since left a scar.

“The defendant accepts the argument was going on and accepts he picked up the cup of tea but says he threw the contents.

“Following that incident the complainant has contacted a friend who has attended the address, helped to clean up the injury, however she has at that stage not contacted the police and the relationship continued.”

She described a second incident in the hallway in which as the victim went to slam the door after him he turned, grabbed her and squeezed her by the neck.

The court heard she fell backwards, hitting her head, and she struggled to breathe until two youngsters in the house tried to intervene.

Murfitt claims he had been slapped by the complainant and had put his hand out “in self-defence” but they had fallen together onto the stairs.

He denies the charges and the trial continues.