Homeless man attack accused denies assault

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court

A man accused of setting fire to a homeless man’s face during an attack involving five men has told a court he visited the flat – but did not see his alleged victim there.

Allan Smith, 37, of Lynn Grove, Blackpool, denies causing grievous bodily harm to John Nugent, who was found injured, claiming to have been attacked and burned at a flat in the resort’s Church Street.

It was boisterous but nothing out of the ordinary

Smith told the court he visited the flat for 20 minutes to collect a bike wheel from the occupier Jonathan Stemburski.

But he told Preston Crown Court he remained in the kitchen while his co-defendants socialised on February 7. He said: “It was boisterous but nothing out of the ordinary.”

On his way out he told the court he opened the door to Claire Potts and Suzanne Dixon. Miss Potts, Davis Potts’ sister, had been in a relationship with Mr Nugent but Smith said he had not heard any complaints Nugent had mistreated his partner before the alleged attack.

As he left the flat, Smith said he could see all four of his co-defendants in the living room but insisted he did not see Mr Nugent at any time when he was at the flat:

“I’d only seen him once before, about a week earlier. He told me he was a heroin addict and said could I give him any money.”

However Mr Nugent identified Smith as the man who used some kind of spray or substance to set fire to his face – an allegation Smith denies. David Potts, 32, of Salthouse Avenue, Blackpool, Josh Rollinson, 18, of King Street, Blackpool, Allan Smith, Andrew Southern, 36, of Lynn Grove, Blackpool and Jonathan Stemburski, 35, of Church Street, Blackpool deny GBH and false imprisonment.

(Proceeding)

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