SHEFFIELD STAR: WOMAN CLEARED IN NIGHT CLUB RUMPUS
Sheffield Star, www.sheffieldtoday.net, 18 February 2004
Woman cleared in night club rumpus
Sheffield Star, www.sheffieldtoday.net, 21 February 2004
A JUDGE made a surprise criticism of an ex-soccer star's girlfriend cleared by a jury of breaking a girl's leg in a casino saying: "You've been very lucky."
Germaine Smith admitted to a "hair-pulling catfight" with Keith Curle's former lover Dee Dunseath, but denied inflicting grievous bodily harm.
The jury believed her story and she was found not guilty of the charge at Sheffield Crown Court.
But Judge Robert Moore still told the 31-year-old: "You've been very lucky on this occasion. Let this be a lesson to you that this sort of behaviour will land you in serious trouble. You have narrowly escaped a custodial sentence."
The judge was clearly disturbed by Miss Smith's conduct - even if it did not constitute GBH in the eyes of the jury.
The two women came to blows after Miss Dunseath, aged 21, allegedly plagued Mr Curle, a former Sheffield United and England defender, with late night phone calls after their relationship ended.
"We only saw each other for a physical purpose," he told the court. "I met Germaine about three months after I'd stopped seeing Dee, but she was still phoning me in the middle of the night. The calls really upset Germaine's 10-year-old daughter."
According to prosecutor Rachael Harrison, when Miss Smith spotted Miss Dunseath in Napoleon's casino in Ecclesall Road last June 20 she became angry.
Miss Smith, of Ecclesall Road, admitted confronting Miss Dunseath, of Walkley Bank Road, Walkley, in the toilets, telling her: "You're not so clever when you're on your own, are you?
"I told her to stop the phone calls," she said. "And we had a scuffle in the toilet doorway, but it was over in seconds."
At the bar another rumpus broke out.
"She lunged at me and grabbed my hair so I tried to get her off," said Miss Smith. "We were both hanging on to each other, and she ended up on the floor."
During the trial it was alleged that Miss Smith stamped on Miss Dunseath, fracturing her shin bone, which later required surgery.
"I never kicked her, I never stamped on her, and I definitely didn't break her leg," Miss Smith told the jury.
"I don't hate her - I know what it feels like to be the ex-partner, and I'm sorry that she broke her leg.
"I'm very embarrassed about this whole incident. I'm a mum, and I'm currently pregnant with Keith's child. I wouldn't do something like that."
Following the verdict Miss Dunseath said: "I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I'm in total shock."
Speaking afterwards Mr Curle said his girlfriend had been targeted unfairly.
"For months this has been hanging over our heads but now justice has been done.
"We have been embarrassed by the whole situation of having to go to court to defend her name and my name."