Innocent man to foot transatlantic airfare bill
5:30pm Sunday 14th October 2012 in County News
A former Haverfordwest man who was cleared of assault in an incident in which a man was knocked unconscious will find himself out of pocket after flying back from Canada to fight the charges.
William Mansel Tucker, aged 48, had denied assaulting Paul Michael Moncrief on October 16th, 2010, causing him actual bodily harm.
Swansea Crown Court heard how Mr Moncrief had been out in pubs in Haverfordwest when he said hello to Jessica Arnold, who was then Mr Tucker’s girlfriend.
Later, inside Fever nightclub, he again saw Miss Arnold, but as he spoke to her briefly Mr Tucker approached and told him to stay away from her, the court heard.
Frank Phillips, prosecuting, said that as Mr Moncrief left, Mr Tucker approached him and knocked him out with a single blow, causing head injuries.
Mr Moncrief told the jury he could not remember the incident, only waking up at Withybush Hospital.
Mr Tucker, then of Jury Lane, Haverfordwest, told police that as he left the club, Mr Moncrief made a rude gesture towards him before approaching him. He said he thought he was about to be hit and acted in self-defence.
After the unanimous verdict of not guilty, the court heard that Mr Tucker had since moved to Canada and had had to fund his own defence costs, as well as paying for the flights for the various court hearings.
The judge, Mr Recorder Geraint Walters, said that while his defence costs would be met out of government funds in the normal way, “we will not be paying any air fares”.