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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 February 2006, 13:27 GMT
Man, 21, admits ponytail attack
A Dudley man who was cleared of assault after chopping off his former girlfriend's ponytail has pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm.

Michael Smith, 21, of Netherton, was cleared of assault at Dudley Magistrates Court in June 2005.

However in January the High Court ruled the magistrates had made a mistake in deciding he had "no case to answer".

The case has been sent to Wolverhampton Crown Court for sentencing because of the "violent nature of the act".

The court heard Mr Smith and Miss Tether had had an on-off relationship for five years, although they were separated when the attack took place.

'Crowning glory'

On 11 April 2005 Miss Tether went to his house in Worcester Road and into his bedroom where he was asleep.

When she woke him he pushed her to the bed, got out a pair of kitchen scissors and pinned her down, cutting her ponytail from the top of her head.

Miss Tether left distressed but said nothing to her family, wearing a baseball cap and a wig to disguise her newly-shortened hair.

Her mother soon noticed her ponytail was missing and Miss Tether told her what had happened.

A decision by magistrates that there was no case to answer was reversed after an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Two High Court judges ruled that people regarded their hair as their "crowning glory" and could be "intrinsic" to their identity.

Smith was remanded in custody and committed for sentence at Wolverhampton Crown Court on 22 March.

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