A MAN accused of assaulting the landlady of a Wokingham town centre pub has walked free due to lack of evidence.

Brendon Edward Healey, 52, of Broad Street, Wokingham, was accused of striking Lili Collier on the chin in Broad Street on May 25 last year, but Reading Magistrates’ Court threw out the case as the prosecution could not prove that the assault actually took place.

The court heard how Mr Healey’s then girlfriend Rebecca Leighton, 38, had become aggressive towards staff when the couple were asked to leave the pub at closing time.

 The prosecution alleged that Mr Healey had started shouting at the bar staff, had slammed a pint glass onto the bar and that his fists were clenched, but CCTV from the pub showed that Mr Healey’s hands were not clenched, he did not slam the glass onto the bar, and that his hands were behind his back.

The prosecution told how Mr Healey and Miss Leighton eventually left the pub, but Miss Leighton became verbally and and racially abusive towards Ms Collier, calling her a ‘P**i c**t bomber’ and that she had ‘blown up 22 people’, referring to the Manchester Arena attack which had taken place two days previously. 

Giving evidence in the trial on Friday, Ms Collier said the comments had made her angry as her cousin’s son had been at the concert during the attack, and she took offence to such comments being made. 

She alleged that after leaving the pub, Mr Healey stepped between herself and Miss Leighton, raising his arm towards her and striking her chin, causing her head to knock backwards. She said he also pushed Miss Leighton, causing her to fall to the floor.

Mobile phone footage taken by one of the members of staff from the pub showed Mr Healey and Miss Leighton walking away from the pub, with Miss Leighton telephoning the police alleging that she was being harassed by Miss Collier and her staff. Mr Healey was seen going back to the group, telling them to ‘f**king stay there’ which he claimed showed that he was acting as a peacemaker between the two women.

But the prosecution could not provide evidence of the alleged assault, leading the defence to call for the case to be thrown out. The Magistrates agreed and Mr Healey was released.

An application for a restraining order against Mr Healey was also dismissed, but the Magistrates advised Mr Healey to give the tavern ‘a wide berth’. 

Miss Leighton has pleaded guilty to racially or religiously aggravated intentional harassment. alarm or distress, and will appear at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday, February 2.