Ammanford man "shoved" neighbour to ground after drinking spree, court hears
10:21am Friday 16th May 2014 in Ammanford news
AN Amman Valley man who "shoved" his next-door neighbour to the ground in the beer garden of an Ammanford pub, told police that he was subsequently shocked to read on Facebook that he had "battered" a girl in the town.
Robert Maldwyn Rees, aged 22, of 15 Ceidrim Road, Glanaman, was said to have downed 12 cans of lager, six cans of cider and half a bottle of wine before he'd even left home that evening.
The defendant, who was said to have "a poor recollection of events" pushed Claire Williams into a bench during an argument, Llanelli magistrates were told.
Rees was fined £300 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30 after pelading guilty to assaulting Ms Williamsat The Cottage Inn on December 26. He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to his victim along with £85 costs.
Prosecutor Vaughan Pritchard Jones said Rees and Ms Williams had fallen into a conversation on Boxing Day night that was initially normal.
"She then said something he didn't like and his behaviour changed – he said: 'I'm recording this conversation'," said Mr Pritchard Jones.
"She said: 'That's pathetic' and was walking away when she felt a hard shove in the middle of her back which caused her to fall forwards and bang her head on the bench."
He added that Ms Williams suffered jarring to her hand, a graze to her palm, cuts to her little finger and bruising to her arm and thigh along with a lump on her head."
Interviewed by police, Rees said he had been on a pub crawl since midday. "I know Claire, I live next door to her," he said. "My partner had to take me home because I was a mess. It said on Facebook the next morning that I'd battered a girl and I was really worried. I can't remember anything. I drank way too much."
In a victim impact statement, Ms Williams said the incident had left her "unsettled", adding: "I'm constantly on edge and looking over my shoulder.
"There have been a few times we have seen each other in passing and each time I am worried about what he will say or do."
Robin Reed, in mitigation, said his client had initially intended to plead not guilty, but had changed his mind on viewing CCTV footage of the incident.
"The footage shows she came towards him," he added. "He pushed her away and, because she was wearing high heels, she fell – this was not pre-meditated but he accepts he was not justified in pushing her away."
Mr Reed said Rees and Ms Williams were no longer next-door neighbours but had since come across each other socially at his ex-partner's birthday celebrations.