Postman ‘hit disabled man’

AN ANGRY postman lost his temper and punched a disabled Suffolk man in the face after threatening to kill his labrador if it barked at him again, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.

Christopher Collins allegedly stormed into 63-year-old Christopher Tutin’s cottage in Gislingham with a look of “madness and anger” on his face and hurled his mail on to the stairs.

The postman threatened to kill the dog if it barked at him again, alleged Mr Tutin, who has suffered 20 strokes and walks with the aid of a walking stick. He claimed that Collins appeared to be “totally out of control” and had ignored him when he told him to get out of his house.

He said that when it became apparent to him that Collins wasn’t going to leave he had placed his fists on Collins’ chest and pushed him backwards out of the front door.

He told the court that Collins’ arms had been flailing everywhere and he had gone out of the door “very quickly indeed”.

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Mr Tutin claimed that a fraction of a second later Collins had punched him on the left side of his face with his fist. “It was a full blooded punch,” said Mr Tutin.

He said blood had immediately gushed from his mouth and he had felt “shaken and stunned”.

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He was taken to hospital where he had seven stitches in a cut to his mouth and he later required dental treatment to two broken teeth.

Collins, 46, of Linden Grove, Roydon, near Diss, has denied assaulting Mr Tutin causing him actual bodily harm on October 28 last year.

Giving evidence on the first day of Collins’ trial, Mr Tutin claimed that after the alleged attack Collins had apologised to him. “I said ‘ You will lose your job over this’ and he said ‘I know I will. I am so sorry’,” said Mr Tutin.

Cross-examined by defence counsel Houzla Rawat, Mr Tutin said that neither Collins nor any other postman had ever complained about his five-year-old black labrador Belle in the past.

He said that when postmen called at his house Belle would bark very loudly and he and his wife would shut doors to prevent her from getting hold of their mail when it came through the letter box.

He said that on the day in question a carpenter had been working at the house and had left the front door open, but although Belle had barked as Collins approached the house, she hadn’t gone outside.

Mr Tutin denied a suggestion that Collins told him “Your dog has tried to bite me again. That’s the second time that has happened. If it does it again I’ll try and have it put down.”

Mr Tutin also denied that he had lost control and had punched Collins in the face. “I didn’t try and punch him at all, either before or after he hit me,” said Mr Tutin.

The trial continues today.

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