Drunken Shewsbury man punched pensioner in face at his Ellesmere home
A Shrewsbury man accused of drunkenly punching a pensioner in the face has been found guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm.
Philip Moss, 31, maintained he was a victim of mistaken identity but failed to convince a jury at Shrewsbury Crown Court that he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Moss, of the Ridings, Bicton Heath, denied assaulting Colin Roberts on March 31 last year – despite being picked up by police opposite the victim’s house in Ellesmere and matching the description of the attacker.
During the two-day trial the court heard that Moss was dropped off in Ellesmere that evening by a friend after working in Wrexham. He needed to get to Wem but his friend was unable to take him further, so Moss said he had contacted his sister when he arrived in Ellesmere to arrange a lift.
He said he had drunk four vodka mixers at around 6pm, three hours before the incident, and was “merry” but not intoxicated.
Prosecutor Douglas Lloyd told the court the defendant walked down Victoria Street and knocked on Mr Roberts’ door, entered the house and was told to leave, but when Mr Roberts tried to push him back out of he was punched in the face. Mr Roberts went to the home of his neighbour, Ms Whittaker, to ask for help as his face was bleeding. He would later need stitches.
Ms Whittaker told police she had watched a man peering into Mr Roberts’ window and asking to be let in. Ms Whittaker said she then went away from her window for five minutes until she heard shouting in the street. She peered out again to see the same man walk down the hill past her house, shouting on the phone “You’ve left me, I don’t know where I am”.
She said the man walked back up the road on the opposite side and stopped opposite her and Mr Roberts’ homes. Mr Roberts came to her door and identified the man as his attacker.
Brendan Reedy, defending, said it was possible that the attacker had walked away from the scene and been “replaced” by Moss, who was of a similar description.
Giving evidence, Moss said had not been near Mr Roberts’ property and had not been arguing on the phone.
Mr Reedy told the court no blood was seen on the defendant’s hands or clothes when he was arrested, but no forensic investigation of his clothing or the scene was carried out.
The jury returned a guilty verdict in under two hours and Recorder Stephen Thomas adjourned sentencing until March 28.
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