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Prosecution witness Tiffini Melvin
"He was on top of Cassie on the pavement. I said 'leave her alone'. He stood up pulled her top down and ran off."
 real 28k

Tuesday, 20 June, 2000, 20:24 GMT 21:24 UK
Richards' 'victim' hospital ordeal
Rod Richards
Rod Richards arrives at court
A court has heard how a young woman was hospitalised for six days after being attacked by former Welsh Conservative leader Rod Richards.

Cassandra Melvin, 23, alleges that Mr Richards attacked her, breaking her arm, after he was asked to leave her sister's flat in west London following an evening out.

Kingston Crown Court heard how Ms Melvin and her 31-year-old sister Tiffini met the regional AM for north Wales at a pub in nearby Richmond in July last year.


Tiffany Melvin's flat
Tiffany Melvin's south London flat

Father-of-three Mr Richards from Heol Isaf in Radyr, near Cardiff, denies a charge of grievous bodily harm.

Giving evidence during the second day of the trial, Ms Melvin's mother Gillian told how she had taken her daughter to hospital for treatment.

"I saw Cassandra was very distressed. She was crying and saying her arm was really hurting.

"Her nose was slightly bleeding and her chin was bruised," she said.

Reading from clinical notes, Dr Avi Sharma told the jury: "On examination the right elbow was swollen and very tender.


The Victoria pub
The Victoria pub in Richmond

"She could not straighten it fully and an X-ray showed a depressed split fracture on the radial head."

Earlier Tiffini Melvin described how Mr Richards' behaviour when all three had gone to a pizza restaurant after the pub, had been strange and rude to the extent that it had 'freaked her out'.

She said Mr Richards had behaved "far too forward for a stranger" and that she had been surprised when Mr Richards manipulated his way into their taxi and went back to their flat.

She said it was there that his behaviour became menacing.

He had picked up a photo of the sisters' two-year-old niece and said "I am going to take this off you one day".


Kingston Crown Court
The trial continues at Kingston Crown Court

"I think he was talking about my niece," Ms Melvin told the court.

She asked him to leave the flat and the violent confrontation ensued which led to her sister Cassandra fracturing her arm, Ms Melvin said.

But when asked about an allegation on Monday that Mr Richards had smoked cannabis in her flat, Ms Melvin said she could not be sure.

She said there had been some cannabis in the flat and later it had gone, but she was not certain that Mr Richards had smoked it.

Mr Richards is expected to give evidence to the court tomorrow.

The trial continues.

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See also:

10 Nov 99 | Wales
Richards to stand trial
29 Sep 99 | Wales
Richards denies GBH
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