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Throat 'grabbed' in argument over fruit machine

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 07, 2012

George Deakin of Dinas Baglan Road Port Talbot

A BUSINESSMAN is alleged to have grabbed a landlady by her throat as he and his family attempted to retrieve a fruit machine from the pub his son had formerly worked at.

George Deakin, of Dinas Baglan Road, Port Talbot, denies a charge of common assault on Lynda Coward at her pub, The Welcome Inn in Llangyfelach Road, on January 3 this year.

Swansea Magistrates' Court was told Deakin's son Andrew had formerly run the pub together with Mrs Coward's son Josh, and in order to increase profits George Deakin had provided a fruit machine to his son.

But the relationship between Andrew Deakin and Josh soured over Christmas last year, when Andrew claimed he was told he was no longer needed to work there.

So he returned to the pub with his father to collect what he said was his property.

Lynda Coward told the court that when the Deakin family had walked in, Andrew had begun to pull the fruit machine from the wall, and when she pushed it back, a struggle ensued.

She said that after pushing between her and Andrew Deakin: "George Deakin grabbed me by the throat. I did not say he was trying to strangle me. But he was shouting 'you owe Andrew money'. It was a shock."

George Deakin, 72, denied putting his hands around Lynda Coward's throat, and said that until his son had lost his job, he had enjoyed a good relationship with her.

He said there was verbal abuse on everyone's behalf, and he had got between his son and Lynda Coward out of "father's instinct, and I would do it again."

The trial was adjourned until later this month.

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