Alleged victim was ‘worried that man was about to kill her’

A MAN ‘resorted to verbal and physical abuse’ against a woman, grabbing her by the throat and leaving the alleged victim ‘worried he was about to kill her’, a Royal Court trial has heard.

The Royal Court
The Royal Court

Scott Robert Harben appeared in the court yesterday charged with one count of grave and criminal assault, which was allegedly carried out in February at an address in St Brelade.

He denies the charge.

Opening the prosecution’s case on the first day of the Assize trial, Crown Advocate Simon Thomas said the 42-year-old ‘resorted to verbal and physical abuse’ against the woman.

Both the complainant and defendant had been drinking on the Saturday evening in question, according to Advocate Thomas, who added: ‘The more he drank, the more he became aggressive towards [the complainant].’

After an argument, Mr Harben ‘took a full can of cider’ and poured it over her, according to Advocate Thomas.

He added that Mr Harben grabbed her by the throat, threw the complainant onto a couch and got on top of her with both his hands around her throat.

‘She was struggling to breathe,’ said Advocate Thomas.

He said that Mr Harben put his fingers and thumb down her throat, with her biting him, as she was ‘worried he was going to kill her’.

Mr Harben then pretended to call the police, according to Advocate Thomas, after the complainant said they should be called, and during the ‘pretend conversation’, Mr Harben said the alleged victim had attacked him.

Advocate Thomas alleged that the defendant said to the complainant, ‘this is what you do, you make people do this to you, you bring this on yourself’, which the advocate said was an example of Mr Harben’s ‘controlling’ behaviour.

The court was told that the complainant then locked herself in the bathroom and called the police. The court was played bod-worn camera footage of officers arriving at the address at around 10.40pm and an audio recording of her call to police.

‘[The complainant] was audibly distressed as she phoned the police,’ said Advocate Thomas, adding that Mr Harben had left by the time officers arrived.

He said the charge against Mr Harben was ‘the latest in a long line’ of alleged incidents that the defendant had committed against the complainant going back a number of years.

These allegations included threatening her with knives, attempting to strangle her and hitting her with a door. No charges were brought against Mr Harben in relation to the other allegations.

Giving evidence, the alleged victim said that during one of these other alleged incidents, Mr Harben ‘grabbed my hair and was throwing me about’.

When asked by Advocate Thomas how that felt, she responded: ‘It felt like my head was on fire.

‘He was just dragging me about the room, swinging me about.’

Advocate Adam Harrison was acting for the defence and Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith was presiding. The trial continues and is scheduled to last until Wednesday.

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