Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Grandmother who ran over spitting man's foot with her wheelchair prosecuted for assault

A disabled grandmother who ran over a man’s foot in her electric wheelchair has hit out after being prosecuted for assault. Kay Ennis, 58, rowed with Shahan Hannan at a bus stop after she asked him to stop spitting. She remonstrated with him, then ran over his foot in her chair, a court heard. And when Mr Hannan’s partner got involved, Ennis slapped her in the face. Ennis pleaded guilty to common assault and assault by beating at Minshull Street Crown Court.

And the mother-of-four, from Hirst Avenue, Walkden, said she only pleaded guilty to the offences because she wanted to avoid going through a trial. She said: “It’s ridiculous I was even charged with assault. I was on my own and scared to death” Ennis suffers from diabetes and epilepsy and has to use a wheelchair to get around. She also had a brain haemorrhage that left her deaf in her left ear, with only 50 per cent hearing in her right and damaged optic nerves. Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court was told the incident happened in December last year at the bus stop in Worsley Road, Walkden.

The court heard that Mr Hannan accepted he had spat on the ground, but claimed he had simply been clearing his throat. There had been an exchange of words between the two before Ennis ran over his foot. Austin Welsh, defending, told the court Ennis had been extremely distressed and upset by the experience of finding herself in court. He said that she accepted running over Mr Hannan’s foot but said she had simply pushed his partner Amy Budgeon away when she got too close to her.

Sentencing her, Judge Jeffrey Lewis told her: “It seems to me that what is important here is that you have acknowledged that you behaved in this way, when you should not have done. This was a most unfortunate incident, and I am sure that everyone concerned wishes that perhaps the clock could be turned back. It appears to me it is a case of least said, soonest mended.” Ennis was given a conditional discharge on each offence for 12 months. The judge rejected an application for costs or compensation.

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