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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 17:44 GMT 18:44 UK
Mills felt 'trapped by paparazzi'
Heather Mills McCartney
Heather Mills McCartney was giving evidence at an assault trial
Photographers who cornered Heather Mills-McCartney to take her picture made her feel like a "trapped animal", Brighton Magistrates' Court has heard.

The estranged wife of Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney was giving evidence at the trial of Jay Kaycappa, 31, who is accused of assaulting her in July.

He is alleged to have grabbed her shoulder and turned her round to take her picture in a Brighton subway.

The freelance photographer, from Fareham, Hampshire, denies the charge.

He also denies assaulting Lady McCartney's companion, Mark Payne, in Brighton, the following evening.

Prosecutor Dale Sullivan said: "Since Ms Mills-McCartney and her estranged husband announced their split it would appear that members of the press have followed Ms McCartney and waited near her home."

My name is Heather Anne Mills-McCartney, soon to be just Mills
Lady McCartney

Lady McCartney said she wheeled her bike into the subway on Brighton seafront to escape paparazzi on 5 July 2006.

The 39-year-old former model said: "I panicked and thought I'll go back the other way and that's when I turned round and saw Mr Kaycappa.

"I felt concerned... because I had one there and one there and I felt like a trapped animal so I turned into the wall to get on my phone."

She said: "I felt a hand on my shoulder. He yanked me round."

Claiming the assault had left her with a damaged vertebra, she said she left the tunnel and cycled to meet friends at a cafe, where the paparazzi tracked her down.

'Four-second gap'

Defending, Anya Lewis showed a sequence of photographs, taken by Mr Kaycappa, showing Lady McCartney entering the subway at 1245 BST, leaving two minutes later, and then at the cafe at 1302 BST.

Miss Lewis said: "If the times in the photographs are accurate, you have lied."

She continued: "At no stage did the defendant enter the tunnel."

Lady McCartney said Mr Kaycappa assaulted her in a four-second gap in the sequence.

The court also heard from Michael Shilub, who described the alleged attack on Mr Payne.

He said: "He pushed Mark and he was yelling obscenities. It was a very shocking thing to witness."

He denied the possibility that Mr Kaycappa was holding up a hand to prevent Mr Payne grabbing his camera.

When she was asked to give her name in court, Lady McCartney said: "My name is Heather Anne Mills-McCartney, soon to be just Mills".

The case was adjourned to 3 July. Mr Kaycappa was released on unconditional bail.

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