Mobile-phone footage could help Hucknall woman, 59, accused of police assaults

NEWS from Nottingham Magistrates' Court.

NEWS from Nottingham Magistrates' Court.

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Vital, new evidence, captured on a mobile phone, could help a 59-year-old Hucknall woman accused of assaulting police officers, a court heard.

Christine Nunes, of Holgate Walk, is charged, along with her 31-year-old son Liam, with assaulting a male police constable, and also faces a separate charge on her own of assaulting a female constable, both in the execution of their duty.

Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard that the alleged offences took place during a rumpus in Hucknall on Friday, January 16 last year. Both deny the charges.

After several hearings and delays lasting more than a year, the case was finally scheduled for a trial this week. But fresh filmed footage of the incident suddenly came to light, which forced it to be put back even further.

The pictures, which were taken from Mr Nunes’s mobile phone, will now need to be reviewed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). They might result in the Nuneses being acquitted or they could even lead to the case being discontinued, the court was told.

Dilaor Miah, prosecuting, said: “This is fresh evidence and lengthy footage that needs to be looked at to see if this matter is to proceed.”

Mr Nunes’s solicitor, Bill Soughton, defending, said the footage had not been considered before because of “technological difficulties”.

“Mr Nunes thought he had sent the footage, via Dropbox, to my company and also on a CD, but neither can be traced,” said Mr Soughton.

“It is very important that the CPS see this footage because it goes right to the heart of the case. There was clearly a struggle, but it is a question of whether the police officers were acting in the exceution of their duty.”

The court heard that the Nuneses had no previous convictions. Mrs Nunes had been suffering from stress because of the case, while her son, who lives in Brighton, “had been diagnosed with mental health issues”. Both Mr Soughton and Mrs Nunes’s solicitor, Mary Dickson, felt it was necessary for medical reports to be prepared on the two defendants before the next hearing.

“This a cursed case that has gone on and on,” said Mrs Dickson, defending. “Everyone wants it to end, but this video footage will come into play, however we deal with the case.”

The magistrates decided that the Nuneses might not be afforded a fair trial unless the mobile-phone footage was reviewed.

The chairman of the Bench, David Clarson, said: “It is unfortunate that this has taen so long, and we understand how stressful it has been. Late justice is not good justice.

“But it would be difficult to ignore this new evidence because it is so key. We are also looking for assurances that the issues of a medical nature can be bottomed out.”

The case was adjourned until an interim hearing on Wednesday, March 2. If the case continues, a trial date has been provisionally set for Wednesday, May 4. Both defendants were granted unconditional bail.