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Wednesday, September 29, 1999 Published at 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK

UK: Wales

Richards denies GBH

Ex-Tory leader in Wales Rod Richards resigned to fight GBH charge

Former Wales Conservative leader Rod Richards has pleaded not guilty to a charge of grievous bodily harm against a young woman.

Mr Richards, 52, of Heol Isaf in Radyr, Cardiff, appeared before Richmond Magistrates' Court, south west London.

BBC Wales's Colette Hume: "It is alleged the 22-year-old woman suffered a fractured arm"
The case was adjourned until November 10 and he was remanded on conditional bail.

The former Tory leader in the National Assembly was arrested on July 27 in Chilton Road, Kew, south west London.

'Grabbed by arm'

It is alleged that he grabbed 22-year-old Cassandra Melvin by the arm, pulled her round and banged her elbow on a parked car causing a fracture.

The AM for North Wales, Mr Richards resigned from his post as Conservative leader in the Assembly in the wake of the allegation.

His solicitor, George Keppe spoke briefly to members of the media outside the court before his client's appearance.

"Mr Richards continues to be distressed by the predicament he finds himself in," he said.

He pleaded for Mr Richards's "privacy and current distress" to be respected.

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