SHEFFIELD STAR: I DIDN'T BREAK HER LEG IN FIGHT
'I didn't break her leg in fight'
Sheffield Star, http://www.sheffieldtoday.net, 18 February 2004
AN ex-Sheffield United star's pregnant girlfriend has denied breaking his former lover's leg during a catfight.
Former defender Keith Curle's partner Germaine Smith came to blows with his ex-girlfriend Dee Dunseath after the 21-year-old plagued the couple with late night phone calls.
Smith has admitted her part in a "hair-pulling scuffle" in Napoleon's casino, Ecclesall Road on April 20 last year, but denies inflicting GBH.
She told Sheffield Crown Court that Miss Dunseath had been harassing the pair over the phone since Smith began her relationship with Mr Curle, now manager of Mansfield Town Football Club, in January 2003.
"She would ring often, sometimes two or three times a night," said Smith, aged 31. "Sometimes she would laugh down the phoneline, and other times she'd just stay silent.
"It used to happen when Keith was staying overnight at my house and so it disturbed me and my 10-year-old daughter."
Miss Dunseath, of Walkley Bank Road, Walkley, has admitted making the calls, but said that she stopped them as soon as she realised that Mr Curle was in a new relationship.
"I broke up with Keith in December 2002," she said. "I called him to hear his voice, and I suppose I wanted to get back with him, but I stopped as soon as I realised that he was with Germaine."
When Smith, of Ecclesall Road, was in the ladies toilets of Napoleon's on the night in question, she wasted no time telling Miss Dunseath to stay away from her.
"I told her to stop calling us," she said. "I told her that she was being rude and upsetting my daughter.
"We had a bit of a scuffle in the toilets. We both went for each other and there was a bit of hair pulling but it was over in seconds."
Miss Dunseath left the toilets and went to speak to Mr Curle at the bar, but Smith followed her over.
"As I walked towards them Dee turned and grabbed at me," said Smith. "She grabbed my hair and I grabbed her hair. We were both hanging on to each other and it all happened very fast."
The prosecution alleged that Mr Curle then forced Miss Dunseath into a crouching position while Smith kicked her and stamped on her, breaking her shin bone just below the knee.
Miss Dunseath had an operation on her leg following the incident, and spent three months on crutches.
Dr Simon Buckley, the orthopaedic surgeon who treated Miss Dunseath, said: "The top of her shin bone had split and been pushed downwards, and there was also damage to the cartilage.
"Injury like this is usually caused by significant violence, such as a kick or a road traffic accident. It is very unlikely that it was caused by the patient simply falling over."
Leah Munton was standing near the fighting girls and said she could remember the incident clearly.
"Miss Dunseath was on the floor and Smith was stamping on her," she said. "The girl on the floor looked frightened and I could sense Germaine's anger."
However Smith denies that she ever kicked or stamped on Miss Dunseath.
"She ended up on the floor but I've no idea why. She could have slipped or been pushed – it was busy in the casino that night.
"I'm sorry that she broke her leg but I didn't do it. I'm very embarrassed about this whole affair. I'm a mum and I wouldn't just kick someone like that."
The trial continues.
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