A TRAINEE lawyer is standing trial accused of grabbing his former partner by the hair and throwing her to the ground during a row outside her Dursley home.

Stuart Dodd, of Uley Road in Dursley, denies assaulting Amanda Hull by beating her and breaching a non-molestation order.

On Tuesday, prosecutor Charley Pattison told the jury at Gloucester Crown Court that the incident happened on the morning of September 14 last year when Dodd turned up at her house and wanted to discuss the dissolution of their relationship.

A row ensured when Miss Hull refused to talk and, after a period of arguing, she ended up on the ground and alleged Dodd pushed her, which he denies.

Yesterday, Dodd gave evidence denying any form of assault occurred and said he was simply putting his hand up to stop Miss Hull “lunging at him” and to create some space between them.

Dodd, aged 40, said he had been told by Miss Hull the day before the incident that she wanted to discuss arrangements and she had told his mother in a telephone call the night before that she would like to meet with him.

On the morning of September 14, Dodd arrived at Miss Hull’s address before 8am knowing she had some time off work but would be up getting ready.

Dodd stated they’d had some arrangements in place for around six months but then things became more difficult and he wanted to re-establish an amicable relationship going forward.

“I went to the kitchen door. I knocked on the kitchen door. Amanda put her hand up and came to the door. She opened the door and let me in,” he told the jury.

“Amanda said she was in a rush, she had been up late. I went out to her car and Amanda went back into the house and returned with a bowl of porridge on a hardback book.”

Dodd went on to say that Miss Hull’s became “visibly anxious.”

“She has a stride about her that you know if she is cross. As she came round I thought ‘here we go’ and she lunged at me.”

“I turned and put a hand up and said that is not appropriate but she was fairly committed with what she was doing.”

“She repeated it. She was anxious and irate. I said it wasn’t appropriate and told her not to lunge.”

Dodd said he walked towards the gates of the property to “get some space.”

“She was on me, aggressive, there was nothing I could do to get away” he said. “She was so close, it was invasive. I just wanted some space.

“I wanted her out of my face. I was trying to get to the side of her. I thought this isn’t right and I wanted some space.

“She was either pointing at me or lunging at me. I said to stop touching me and said that’s assault. I just wanted her to calm down."

During the altercation, Miss Hull is seen on CCTV on the ground. She states Dodd pulled her to the ground by her hair but he denies the allegation and said he does not recall her on the ground as he had his back to her turning towards his car. He said she must have stumbled to the ground.

Dodd said Miss Hull later calmed down and they returned to the house, at which point the police arrived and he was arrested.

A witness to the incident, Andrew Bartley, was in his car in the car park at the nearby Premier Inn whilst on shift there doing electrical work.

He said he saw what he deemed to be an argument between two people that he now knows to be Amanda Hull and Stuart Dodd.

“I couldn’t hear as I was in my van. I had to drive past them to get out of the car park. I stopped briefly and could tell they were arguing,” Mr Bartley told the court.

“I saw the woman go up the guy and he palmed her away.”

Mr Bartley was asked what he meant by “palmed away.”

Mr Bartley said it wasn’t an aggressive action but a defensive one.

“I stopped because I was concerned about what was going on. He wasn’t the aggressor, he was behaving defensively.”

Mr Bartley was asked whether he was certain it was the woman that was being aggressive.

“From what I could see, yes,” Mr Bartley told the court. “He stepped back, twisted away and put his hand up.”

The trial will continue today when it is expected the jury will retire to consider their verdict.