AM Mick Bates 'cannot recall' incidents

Image caption,
Mick Bates, Montgomeryshire AM, is on trial for assault

An assembly member who denies assaulting paramedics has told a court he has no recollection of the alleged incidents.

Montgomeryshire AM Mick Bates has started giving evidence at his trial at Cardiff Magistrates Court.

He denies three counts of common assault and public order breaches.

He said he had no memory of an alleged incident outside a city centre restaurant or another after he was taken to the Heath Hospital.

The court had previously heard how police and paramedics were called to Charleston's Steakhouse in January.

They found Mr Bates slumped on the steps, smelling strongly of alcohol and with a bleeding head.

It was claimed he punched one paramedic in the chest and grabbed another violently by the wrist.

Later after being taken to hospital it was claimed he threatened hospital staff with a pair of scissors.

Magistrates have heard that a hospital blood test carried out on Mr Bates, 63, showed that he had in excess of three times the legal drink driving limit of alcohol in his blood.

Giving evidence for the first time in the case, Liberal Democrat AM Mr Bates, told Cardiff magistrates that after drinking four pints of bitter, one bottle of wine and two Sambucas on the evening of January 19th this year, that he "was drunk" by the time he arrived at the restaurant around one o clock in the morning.

'A lot of tears'

The AM told District Judge Bodfan Jenkins he could not remember anything from the moment he blacked out just before falling down the stairs leading out of the restaurant, to the time he woke in his flat many hours later.

Two paramedics have alleged they were abused by Mick Bates as they tried to take him by wheelchair into an ambulance, and that one of them was punched in the chest by him during the journey to hospital.

Repeatedly, Mick Bates told his solicitor Stuart Hutton that he "could not recall" anything. He said he could not remember swearing at or striking out at paramedics, or taking a pair of scissors from the pocket of a nurse treating him at Heath Hospital, and waving them close to the nurse's face.

Earlier, Mr Bates admitted he got into an argument with a man in the restaurant moments before he fell down the stairs. "I have always had a fantasy of buying a restaurant," he told the court. "I made the man an offer to buy the restaurant, but he did not like my offer."

During cross examination Mr Bates said the first he came to hear of the allegations was when the story was about to be printed in a newspaper and broadcast on television, some two weeks after the alleged incidents.

"I was absolutely devastated," he said. "There was a lot of tears. I felt so ashamed, I had no recollection and I felt at that time even more ill." Mick Bates said the injuries he sustained affected his Assembly work, and that he had blurred vision and headaches for weeks after.

"On reflection I was not doing very well," he said. "I became less active. In March I even forgot my PIN number."

Mick Bates denies all charges against him, and the case continues.

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