Saturday, February 28, 2015

British mother dragged to court for accidentally hurting a youngster while trying to protect her son from a gang of youths walks free after arguing 'I'm a mum, that's my job'

It appears that the prosecutors listened to only one side of the story

When Samantha Firth-Corner saw her teenage son surrounded by a gang of five youths, she did not hesitate to step in.

But her attempt to protect her child from a ‘horrible beating’ left her facing prosecution for assault.

She spent eight months awaiting trial, only to be found not guilty after telling a jury she was defending her son and saying: ‘I am a mum – that’s my job.’

Now the 43-year-old has spoken of her ordeal, describing it as ‘like a nightmare’. Speaking at the family’s neat semi on a quiet estate, she said: ‘It has been a horrible time. For eight months I’ve dealt with the very real possibility that I could go to jail, something that I’d have considered unthinkable. I’m so glad that common sense has eventually prevailed.’

But she ended up being arrested herself after accidentally injuring a teenage boy in the melee.

The 15-year-old, who admitted to drinking eight cans of cider that night, was hit in the face with a stone, chipping two of his front teeth. Mrs Firth-Corner was charged with assault causing actual bodily harm, an offence which can carry a prison sentence of five years.

She spent eight months awaiting trial and was acquitted at the end of a three-day hearing at Teesside Crown Court.

After the case, nine of the 12 jurors were so emotional they approached her outside court and wished her well, one of them even offering her a hug.

Mrs Firth-Corner, a tutor with the Unite trade union, has campaigned successfully to save her threatened local library and allotments in the historic Yorkshire Dales market town of Bedale.

She had never been in trouble with the law before. Speaking of her acquittal, she said: ‘My thoughts right now are "least said, soonest mended" and I’d like to put the whole thing behind me and get my life back to where it was before all this happened.

‘I wish the prosecution had never been brought, I’m not sure why it was.’ Her friends have also questioned why the mother of three was brought to trial.

One said: ‘It’s madness that Samantha found herself in court. She has been terrified of what might happen to her and had convinced herself she was going to prison. Even the police seemed to be on her side but the Crown Prosecution Service decided to take the case to trial.’

After being acquitted, Mrs Firth-Corner sobbed and thanked the jury as she left the dock, then hugged her partner in the public gallery.

She is 5ft 5in tall, while the teenager is close to 6ft, the jury heard during the trial. She told the court: ‘I just wanted to stop them attacking. I wanted to protect my son. I’m a mum, that’s my job.’

The prosecution case was that Mrs Firth-Corner and her son had gone to the house looking for trouble last May, and she attacked the teenager after he asked: ‘What’s your problem?’

Original report here

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