Pensioner caught on CCTV kicking his partner six times at Holywell bus stop

Reporter:

Jonathan Barnett

A PENSIONER was caught on CCTV kicking his partner at a bus stop late at night.

William McClelland, 66, claimed he could not remember kicking her six times after “the red mist came down”.

McClelland, who acts as her carer, told police he believed she had suffered an epileptic fit.

But he said he was disgusted and ashamed when shown the CCTV footage which captured
the attack in Holywell town centre.

McClelland, of Bryn Aber in Bagillt, wanted to marry his victim and move away from the area where he said he had so many problems because of the relationship with Marie Bell, 37.

Flintshire Magistrates Court at Mold heard how McClelland had received threats, his car been petrol bombed and he claimed false allegations had been made against him to the police that he was holding her against her will.

McClelland admitted a charge of common assault on December 16 and he received a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

He was placed on rehabilitation and sent on a “building better relationships” programme run by the probation service. In addition, he was fined £120 with £85 costs and a £115 surcharge,

Prosecutor Rhian Jackson played the CCTV footage to the court.

Miss Bell told how McClelland had issues with the fact she continued to have contact with her ex-husband, which caused arguments between them.

As part of the background, she alleged that there had been an earlier incident after he had taken her to her mental health meeting that he had grabbed her around the throat, but he was not charged with that.

On December 16 they had been in the Boar’s Head, a man spoke to her and the defendant
accused him of playing with her hair.

The man apologised and she told the defendant she needed a boyfriend, not a body guard.

She walked to the bus stop, he said they had missed the last bus and she said she did not care she was going to Prestatyn.

But he grabbed her ponytail, pulled her to the ground and she believed she passed out.

The next thing she remembered was waking up on the floor and he was lashing out towards her.

A car stopped and she was asked if she was okay.

Mrs Jackson played the CCTV footage and the defendant after viewing the footage in the police station said that he did not recall the six kicks it showed.

He said in the pub she said she was going back to her husband, he left and he said he grabbed her lapels in temper at the bus station.

Initially he said that she kicked him and that she had a fit, but after the CCTV footage was shown to him he said he did not recall doing it because he was in such a rage.

Probation officer Rachel Woodcock said that while his risk of re-offending was low, she had serious concerns that if as planned the relationship continued that the risk of serious harm to what was a vulnerable victim would be high.

Defence solicitor Nic Cross said his client was not a violent man and was very remorseful and ashamed.

He had been under considerable stress but he said it was an isolated incident with no past history of violence.

The defendant had been harassed and made the subject of unfounded allegations due to his relationship and “people were interfering” because she was a lot younger than him.

The court heard his car had been petrol bombed and police were investigating.

“The build-up of pressure caused him to completely lose his temper,” said Mr Cross.

“He has very little recollection, not because of drink but because of the red mist as he described it.”

He had been a hardworking man who lashed out “in the heat of the moment”.

It had been his intention to marry Miss Bell and move away, but he was devastated that night when she said during the argument she did not want to marry him and was going back to her ex-husband.

But they had since reconciled and she was in court supporting him.

Email:

jonathan.barnett@nwn.co.uk

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