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Jury retires in trial of man Carlisle accused of late night “attack” on wife

Carlisle Crown Court

A JURY in the trial of a man who denies an alleged late night attack on his wife at their Carlisle flat has retired to consider its verdict.

Kevin Steel, 53, faces one charge, which alleges he assaulted Hannah Gavin, causing her actual bodily harm, during an incident at around 4am on April 20.

Police were called to the now separated couple’s South Henry Street home, forcing their way through a communal door after hearing a woman’s piercing screams through a partial open window.

After Steel opened the door to their ground floor flat, police body cam footage captured Miss Gavin, with a facial injury, alleging: “He has just attacked me.”

Giving evidence at Carlisle Crown Court, she alleged Steel verbally abused her before turning violent. “He grabbed me by the hair,” she said. “I remember being on the floor and him kicking me in the face.” She alleged: “I remember screaming and crying – a lot of blood all over my face.”

But when he went into the witness box, Steel claimed he acted in reasonable self-defence after being attacked by his wife while he slept on a sofa. “I woke up surprised and kind of lashed out,” said Steel.

“I did not kick her in the face,” he said. “It was self-defence. That was it.”

After hearing closing speeches from barristers this morning (Thurs) and a summing-up of the evidence from Judge James Adkin, the jury of seven men and five women retired to begin deliberating.

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