A TEENAGE councillor has walked free from court after being cleared ofassault.
Kyle Taylor had been accused of assaulting a teenage girl at Stoke Station on the evening of April 25, just days before he won the electionfor Newcastle Borough Council's Kidsgrove ward for the Labour Party. But the 18-year-old, pictured, was yesterday found not guilty of commonassault following a trial at North Staffordshire Magistrates' Court.
The prosecution alleged that Mr Taylor had carried out the assault while travelling home by train. Officers from the British Transport Police were called to the incident,and the court was told the alleged victim reported a sustained assault against her, both on the train and in the station.
The court was told she said Mr Taylor had pushed her into a wall on thetrain, hit her in the face with a mobile phone, pushed her to the groundand kicked her. But the girl later asked to retract this statement, and when called to give evidence in court yesterday, she denied any assault had takenplace.
She also denied that Mr Taylor had threatened to attack her if shecomplained about his behaviour.She said: "He didn't threaten me at any time. He is a respected memberof the public. He's a councillor. Why would he say something like that?"The teenager said she had been drunk, having consumed three cans ofcider and an alcopop.
Sue Hayers, prosecuting, put it to the teenager that the original statement was an accurate description of events, but she denied evenmaking the statement. Robin Lichfield, defending, said the witness had been very tired when she had been speaking to the police, and so her statement could not berelied upon. He said: "She had been on a long journey home. She had been drinking, and she was upset. She had fallen asleep when officers were drafting thef inal statement." But PC Karl Harvey, who took the statement, insisted that the witnesshad been coherent and fully aware of what was she was saying.The prosecution also relied on CCTV footage and evidence from twowitnesses at the station.
They reported seeing an altercation between Mr Taylor and the girl, whocannot be named for legal reasons, but neither actually saw him assaulther. Mr Taylor had always denied any assault had taken place, and told the court the incident had just involved a simple argument.
District Judge David Taylor found Mr Taylor not guilty following the daylong trial, although he questioned Mr Taylor's version of events. He said: "He seemed to have a reply for everything. I do not think we have heard the whole truth from Mr Taylor."
Mr Taylor, who is currently suspended from the Labour Party, said he was relieved the case was finally over, and looked forward to representing his constituents He said: "The past four months have been really traumatic. It is sickening that someone could think you'd do something like this." Mr Taylor said that he was considering contacting the Police Complaints Commission over the incident.
Article has been reproduced courtesy of The Sentinel.