Wrexham Football Club accountant Diane Griffiths has been cleared of assaulting her friend of 35 years after she alleged the friend made “a pass” at her husband.
Griffiths, 52, said complainant Christine Vickers had asked to hold her husband’s hand as they walked onto the pitch at The Racecourse for presentations and a photo shoot because he was sponsoring the Boxing Day match.
Griffiths told magistrates Mrs Vickers had taken a film of her husband’s bottom as they walked onto the pitch.
The film which she later saw did not show his head, or his legs, “just his bum,” she alleged at Flintshire Magistrates Court at Mold.
Mrs Vickers, 57, of Cwm, near Rhyl, strenuously denied the allegation. She said she had simply asked generally for someone’s hand or arm to help her walk onto the pitch as she suffered from arthritis, was in pain and had heels on.
The film was simply the result of the way she was holding her phone while having difficulty walking. She was concerned she might slip and had been helped to walk onto the pitch by another.
Defence solicitor Euros Jones described the pitch at The Racecourse as “a carpet” and claimed she would have no difficulty walking.
Prosecutor Sheyanne Lee told the court it could hardly be described as “a pass”. It was not done in a secret location but in front of that day’s home crowd of 3,400 spectators.
She said Mrs Vickers had simply asked for assistance to avoid slipping.
Griffiths was not present at the time but was working and had been counting the match takings for the directors but was told later what was alleged to have happened.
After the match Griffiths joined them at the club’s Bamford Suite and then at the nearby pub The Turf, where the prosecution claimed Griffiths had been drinking.
Back at Griffiths’ home a party was planned and a game of Cluedo took place, followed by a game of poker.
Griffiths complained that Mrs Vickers shouted to her husband “come and play with me” – which she alleged had obvious innuendo.
Mrs Vickers said that she had simply asked people to come and join them for a board game because it was Christmas and described the defendant’s claims as ridiculous.
Griffiths was said to be drunk when it was alleged she punched Mrs Vickers’ face and head in what was described as a frenzy.
Mrs Vickers said Griffiths was obviously drunk, had argued with her own husband and struck him too, saying she was leaving in the morning.
Griffiths hit her after accusing her of disrespecting her.
“I was trying to explain but she raised her fists to me. Both sides of my head were hit with clenched fists,” she said.
Mrs Vickers, who said she drank a cranberry juice, water and one glass of bitter, said Griffiths was taken upstairs where she heard thumping and banging and Griffiths being “very unpleasant”. But Griffiths and her husband David said no such thing happened.
Griffiths denied being drunk and in turn alleged Mrs Vickers had been drinking from a bottle of 12-year-old Balvenie whisky with her stepson.
Mrs Vickers denied that claim and said she heard no mention of the whisky. She was sober and had driven home.
She had marks to the face and bruising to the arm and spent the night at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan. She had since had headaches.
Griffiths, of Greenfield View in Cross Lanes, Wrexham, denied a charge of common assault on Mrs Vickers who had been staying with the family over Christmas.
She alleged Mrs Vickers had pushed her when she challenged her, alleging she had flirted with her stepson, made a pass at her husband and asked him in the house to come and play.
Griffiths said she was distraught and went upstairs crying.
Husband David said he was asked to hold Mrs Vickers’ hand as he walked onto the pitch as match sponsor but he moved across to the other side of the group. There was no mention about struggling to walk. “She said it in a flirtatious way,” he alleged.
He had not been assaulted by his wife and she had not assaulted Mrs Vickers, he said.
“It would have been impossible. I was standing between them,” he said.
Son Robert, 27, said back home he drank the whisky and poured Mrs Vickers drinks “measure for measure”. He said she was “loud, noisy and jumping around”.
Magistrates said they found Mrs Vickers to be a credible and consistent witness but the burden of proof required them to be sure beyond reasonable doubt and in view of all the evidence they had heard they took the view the prosecution had not reached that level.
Griffiths broke down in tears and said “thank you” to the magistrates after the verdict.
The court heard that at Wrexham Magistrates Court recently Griffiths had been convicted of assaulting Julie Parry at Rossett Hall on December 9, an offence she denied.
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