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Court acquits man accused of threatening to kill ex-girlfriend and punching her dog

Reporter:

James Harrison

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Magistrates have acquitted a man accused of threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend and punching her dog.

Ashley John Smith, of Odencroft Road, Slough, appeared at Reading Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Tuesday) charged with using threatening or abusive words, as well as three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

According to the prosecution, the 29-year-old had approached Samantha Brimblecome on a bicycle on Friday, May 26, shortly after the end of their relationship, and told her he was going to kill her.

It was also alleged that in April, while he had been living with Miss Brimblecome and her 16-year-old son, he had pinned to the ground and punched one of her pet dogs, held another by the scruff of its neck and threw it through a doorway and ‘submerged’ her cat in a sink full of cold water.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, she also claimed he had been violent towards her.

However, under cross-examination from Smith’s solicitor Jason Boyd, she admitted he had never physically hit her.

Mr Boyd also referenced other allegations Miss Brimblecome made to police, including one that Mr Smith had had a gun at one point, calling them ‘nonsense’.

Mr Smith denied all the charges against him.

He denied punching the dog, saying it had been a large animal that he was scared of it himself and although he did concede he had picked the other dog up by the scruff of its neck, it had not been with the intention of harming it.

Responding to the allegation about the cat, he said he had been bathing it in warm water and had been done at Miss Brimblecome’s suggestion and with her help.

He also said he could not have approached her on a bike as he did not own one.

Presiding magistrate Gary Morris said: “We heard from the prosecution witness who we found muddled in parts.

“Mr Smith spoke and denied all allegations.

“We were faced with two totally differing versions of events.

“We also cannot be sure unnecessary suffering was caused to the animals.

“We therefore don't think the prosecution has proved beyond all reasonable doubt and we find the defendant not guilty of all offences.”

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