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Last Updated: Friday, 24 November 2006, 13:39 GMT
Witness tells of Bellamy's 'grab'
Holly Smith, who gave evidence at Cardiff magistrates court
Ms Smith said Mr Bellamy pushed her against a wall
Premiership footballer Craig Bellamy grabbed a woman's arm and pushed her following an incident with her friend in a nightclub, a trial has heard.

Cardiff magistrates heard how the Wales and Liverpool striker grabbed Holly Smith, 20, after she challenged him for calling her friend Sophie Palmer "fat".

She said moments later she saw him grab Ms Palmer by the throat in a corridor of Number 10 nightclub in the city.

Mr Bellamy, 27, denies two counts of common assault.

The second day of the trial was told how the incident happened after Mr Bellamy and Ms Palmer, 20, bumped into one another in a narrow corridor leading to the VIP bar in the club on 5 February 2006.

Ms Smith, from Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, told the court that Mr Bellamy pushed past her friend, not in an aggressive manner, but there was a collision between the two.

She said: "Sophie said 'excuse me, don't push past me' or something along those lines.

"The male became slightly more aggressive and called her a fat slag and asked who she thought she was. He said 'you shouldn't be pushing past me'".

I turned around and he had her with his hands around her throat
Holly Smith

She said Ms Palmer replied "whatever" before walking away but that Mr Bellamy swore at her.

"The male continued to walk past me and I said 'You shouldn't say things like that, it's not very nice'".

Ms Smith said it was at that point that Mr Bellamy became aggressive towards her.

"He grabbed my arm pushing me against the wall and my body followed," she recalled.

Ms Smith said she then pushed Mr Bellamy away from her and moments later heard her friend make a noise.

Craig Bellamy and Franklin Lynch leaving court on Friday
Craig Bellamy and Franklin Lynch deny assaulting Ms Palmer

"I turned around and he had her with his hands around her throat."

She recalled how another friend Katherine Williams tried to separate the pair as she went for help.

When Ms Smith returned she said Ms Palmer had gone and the next time she saw her was at the nightclub entrance where she heard Mr Bellamy's friend Franklin Lynch telling door staff to eject her.

Mr Bellamy's lawyer John Charles Rees QC asked Ms Smith: "By speaking to him you were likely to provoke another outburst by him weren't you?"

Ms Smith replied: "Yes."

She told the court how she had not regarded herself as being the victim of an assault that night and hadn't wanted to press charges.

Mr Charles Rees asked: "Sophie didn't want to press charges, did she?"

She replied: "No".

The court later heard from Louis Borge, a health and safety officer at the club at the time, who said Ms Palmer had told him she had been grabbed by the throat.

When she took him to the VIP area to show which man had done it, he said Mr Bellamy's friend Franklin Lynch grabbed her arm.

"He got his arms around her - it was like a bear hug - to keep her stable," said. "He was trying to get her out of the doorway."

He said he was not able to intervene, as he did not have his doorman's licence at the time.

Mr Lynch, 52, denies a charge of common assault on Ms Palmer.

The trial continues on Monday.


SEE ALSO
Bellamy 'grabbed woman's throat'
23 Nov 06 |  South East Wales



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