School head in court for assault

A DOG walker today told a court how a top Suffolk public school principal landed a series of blows on him after their dogs had become involved in an altercation.

A DOG walker today told a court how a top Suffolk public school principal landed a series of blows on him after their dogs had become involved in an altercation.

Malcolm Wyer told Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court that John Sinclair, 55, of Finborough School, had hit him with a large stick after their dogs had become involved in a brawl.

Malcolm Wyer, of Great Finborough, admitted kicking Sinclair's dog but said this was to separate them and to prevent harm coming to the animals. Sinclair, however, claims Malcolm Wyer kicked his black Labrador four or five times with the force of a "rugby drop kick".

It was on September 24, 2002 that Malcolm Wyer and his father Michael Wyer had been out for a walk on a public footpath adjoining Finborough School.


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They had seen two Labrador dogs approaching but initially thought them to be friendly until the older of the pair attacked the Wyer's Labrador.

Sinclair was around 30 yards away at the time of this incident but Malcolm Wyer claims he steamed in and hit him with a stick "as thick as your wrist".

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Sinclair said he had only struck out with a fragile hiking stick after witnessing Malcolm Wyer land blows on his dog. The stick in question was presented to the court. He said he had done this to "distract" Malcolm Wyer from what he was doing.

Malcolm Wyer claims that he only kicked the dog once and Sinclair had attacked him in a rage, landing around half a dozen blows to his head and body.

Michael Wyer witnessed the incident and said Sinclair and his son Malcolm Wyer had fallen to the ground, where Sinclair had attempted to inflict further injury on his son.

Sinclair denies a charge of assault by beating and said Michael Wyer had been hitting him on his back with a walking stick.

The Wyer's dog suffered injuries to its throat and ear in the attack and the father and son reported the incident to police shortly after. Malcolm Wyer was suffering from indentations to his head and a cut to his shin. A later examination by a doctor uncovered a bruise to his shoulder.

The defence team for Sinclair claimed the bruise on the shoulder was the only injury Sinclair could have inflicted.

The trial continues.

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