Accused says woman punched him in heated row over dog mess

Row allegedly broke out over dog fouling

Row allegedly broke out over dog fouling - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich man accused of grabbing his neighbour by the throat after she complained about his dog fouling in a communal area at their block of flats has claimed he acted in self-defence after she attacked him.

Darren Paul told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that he swore at a neighbour and she had then punched him in the face two or three times giving him a black eye. “I tried to grab hold of her. She was like an octopus. Her arms and legs were everywhere,” he said.

He claimed that during the incident the neighbour had bitten his thumb causing it to bleed and he had also been left with scratch marks on his upper body.

He claimed he had grabbed her by the face around her mouth but had not hit her.

“I pushed her out of my door and she went running down the stairs saying she was going to get her boyfriend,” Paul said.

He said shortly afterwards his neighbour’s boyfriend and another man came to his door but he denied holding an axe when they saw him. “I don’t own an axe,” he said.

Paul, 48, of Weaver Close, Ipswich, has denied assaulting the woman by beating and having an axe in a public place on September 18 last year.

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It has been alleged that a neighbour knocked on Paul’s front door at around 8am after seeing his Staffordshire bull terrier running unaccompanied around a communal garden at their flats in Weaver Close. When she confronted Paul about his dog fouling in the communal area he had allegedly lost his temper, said Christopher Morgan, prosecuting.

The jury retired to consider its verdicts yesterday and will return to court today.