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Ipswich: OAPs Hugh Balfour and Robert Carson likely to face retrial after neighbour, 65, claims he was headbutted, kicked and punched at sheltered housing complex

10:02 02 August 2014

Hugh Balfour at Ipswich Crown Court

Hugh Balfour at Ipswich Crown Court

Two men aged 70 and 75 are likely to face a retrial over claims that a neighbour was headbutted, kicked and punched at a sheltered house complex.

Robert Carson at Ipswich Crown CourtRobert Carson at Ipswich Crown Court

Hugh Balfour, the older man, and Robert Carson, both of Back Hamlet, Ipswich, had denied actual bodily harm on 65-year-old Christopher Grimes, also of Back Hamlet.

However after nearly four hours of deliberations a jury at Ipswich Crown Court told Judge David Goodin it could not reach a verdict.

Judge Goodin said it was almost certain there would be a re-trial. The Crown Prosecution Service now has 14 days to make the application.

Balfour and Carson were told they would be released on bail until then, but did not have to attended the hearing on August 15.

During the trial Mr Grimes alleged Balfour had headbutted and kicked him in the face, head and torso him in a late-night fracas.

Mr Grimes also said Carson and pushed him to the ground and punched him.

The court heard Mr Grimes had sustained a dislocated left shoulder as a result of Balfour’s actions.

The incident was said to have happened at the Hanover House-owned premises where all three lived on August 24 last year.

It was alleged to have occurred after Balfour and Carson had been drinking and helped another resident who was incapable of walking due to alcohol consumption back to his flat.

Giving evidence, Balfour said he had been at a party on the night in question to celebrate his and other peoples’ birthdays.

He had helped to walk one of the party-goers back to his flat alongside Carson and a female resident at the premises.

As he passed Mr Grimes’ house, Balfour said he knocked on the window having mistaken the property for that of the man he was walking home.

Mr Grimes asked what was going on, the court heard, and Balfour replied, “I’m sorry, it’s the wrong window”, before carrying on.

However he said that on his way back to his own flat, as he passed Mr Grimes’ flat, he saw Mr Grimes blocking his way on the path.

Balfour claimed that he tried to get passed several times however Mr Grimes was standing very close to him and would not get out of his way.

“I don’t think he had any intention of letting me past without some sort of confrontation,” he said.

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