Swansea RFC's Paul John cleared of assaulting girlfriend

Paul John outside Cardiff Crown Court Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Paul John left Cardiff Crown Court with his 'impeccable character' intact, Judge Timothy Brennan said

Swansea RFC captain Paul John has been cleared of punching his girlfriend after she kicked him in the groin.

Mr John, 26, of Porthcawl, south Wales, had denied unlawful wounding after Amy John - who has the same surname but is not related - claimed he hit her in the face as she tried to leave.

Cardiff Crown Court heard he unintentionally struck her as he fended off her kicks, and then apologised.

Judge Timothy Brennan said Mr John's "impeccable character" remained intact.

The court heard the pair had rowed at Mr John's parents home in Porthcawl after Ms John discovered her boyfriend had been messaging other women on Facebook.

The court had heard Ms John, who volunteers as an appropriate adult with vulnerable suspects being interviewed by police, initially told officers the incident had been an accident and Mr John was told no action would be taken against him.

Judge Brennan told him: "You're free to go. The prosecution described you in the course of their submissions as someone of impeccable character.

"The way the evidence has come out has led to your acquittal.

"I think it ought to be said publicly your impeccable character remains entirely unaffected by what you have experienced the last few days."

As the jury returned their verdict, Mr John was visibly relived and immediately hugged his family.

Ms John, a psychology graduate, said she has been left with a scar after the incident and has had to see a plastic surgeon.

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