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Solicitor appears in court on female assault charges


A solicitor lashing out at two teenaged girls – grabbing one by the hair and the throat – when they brought his ‘paralytic’ daughter home after a drinking binge, a court heard.

Solicitor appears in court on female assault charges

Jonathan Brierley, 49, allegedly grabbed and pushed two of his daughter Catrion Brierley’s friends on the driveway of his home in Penarth, South Glamorgan.

The group of girls – then aged 15 and 16 – had been out drinking on New Year’s Eve 2009 and had planned to attend a party nearby.

They decided to bring Catrion home when she became intoxicated on a mixture of alcopops and spirits by 11pm, a District Judge at Bristol Magistrate’s Court heard.

But an enraged Brierley allegedley pursued his daughter’s friends from his home screaming ”What the f**k have you done to my daughter?”

Several teenaged witnesses broke down as they described how he viciously grabbed one of Catrion’s friends by the hair and the throat and another by the arm.

Solicitor Brierley is accused of two counts of assaulting by beating the two seventeen-year-old girls who cannot be named for legal reasons.

One of the friends who witnessed the scene and cannot be named for legal reasons said that the group became aware that Catrion was very drunk.

She said: ”Our friend came up to us and said that Cat was paralytic. She was really, really drunk. We decided we were going to take her home.

”I could see my friends in the living room talking to Cat’s dad’s girlfriend and she gave them a hug so we thought it was alright.

”Very quickly after I heard someone shout ‘Get off her’. I turned around and saw Cat’s dad holding two of my friends.

”He grabbed a clump of one of the girl’s hair in his hand pulling her back.

”He was putting quite a lot of pressure on her hair so she was having to lean back. It was as if she was trying to pull her back towards him.

”She was screeching at him, and so was my other friend. They were shouting ‘Get off’ – things like that. They were trying to pull away.

”I don’t know where he was holding onto one of the girls. I just know he was strangling the other.

”He took a grip of her throat round her neck towards the front area because she was struggling to breathe. I don’t know whether it was because she was panicking or because of the pressure.”

Prosecutor Ian Jackson asked the witness: ”How would you describe Mr Brierley’s mood?”

She replied: ”Very angry. He was shouting. He was quite red in the the face. He was acting in a violent manner. One of the girls was telling us to take a picture.

Mr Jackson asked: ”Where did she end up?”

The witness replied: ”On the floor. I saw her fall but I can’t say definitely whether she was pushed or whether it was an accident. As she fell Mr Brierley called her a ‘silly bitch’.”

District Judge Joti Bopa-Rai heard that friends struggled to carry Catrion home on their backs and that she walked into a tree on the way home, causing a nose-bleed.

Several teenaged girls told the court that they saw three of their friends take Catrion home and watched as Jonathan Brierley’s girlfriend hugged and thanked them.

But the witnesses described how seconds later as they were leaving Brierley charged from his home and prevented the girls from leaving.

Another friend of Catrion present during the scene, who also cannot be named, told the court that Brierley ran from his home to confront the three girls who brought his daughter home.

She said: ”I turned to face them and I saw them arguing with Cat’s dad. He was there and the girls were in front of him.

”I heard him shout ‘What the f**k have you done to my daughter?’ and he was really angry at this stage.

”You could just tell by his face – it was all scrunched up and his eyes were big. He just kept saying ‘What have you done?’ ”

Recalling the horror of the event, another sobbing teenaged girl told the court: ”Just seeing that image is horrific.

”I had only met him once before. People have stuff under their skin and you don’t don’t know.”

The court heard that the girls left and went on to a party where a male friend reported the alleged assault to the police who later charged Brierley.

The trial, expected to last five days, continues.



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