Magistrates rule in favour of Northallerton man in dispute over restraining order breach

MAGISTRATES have ruled in favour of a man after he admitted breaching a restraining order.

Christopher Beckett, 28, of Malpas Road, Northallerton, pleaded guilty to the breach by approaching  his former partner - but denied being abusive or aggressive towards her.

A Newton hearing was held Northallerton Magistrates’ Court today (Monday, January 27), because while Beckett admitted the breach there was a factual dispute between the defence and prosecution.

The order was made after Beckett admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm last year in which he repeatedly punched, bit and stamped on the woman during a drunken attack.

She told the court that last August she was waiting at a bus stop in Northallerton High Street with their young daughter, when she saw Beckett in a red van.

The woman said was angry and swung round a roundabout, cut across both lanes of traffic and parked at the bus stop.

“He was swearing at me and waving his arms," she said. "I told him to go away and that I would call the police and he eventually walked away.”

Beckett told the court he only turned his van around as he believed she had beckoned him and he could see his daughter crying.

Witness Laura Hodgson, next to Miss Handford in the bus stop, told magistrates she saw Beckett walk towards them in a normal manner.

“I didn't hear him swearing, he looked like he was about to speak but then she told him to go away, which he did, but she looked shaken after he had gone.”

Presiding magistrate John Seymour said: “Our decision relies on the evidence of the third party. Miss Hodgson doesn't recall hearing what Miss Handford said was said.

Magistrates referred the case back to Teesside Crown Court for sentencing.

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