A 33-year-old woman accused of punching and kicking a female victim and her father during a 30-strong pub brawl was acquitted by an Oxford Crown Court jury on Monday.
There were sighs of relief from supporters in court as a tearful Gemma Vint, of Franklin Street, Hull, was pronounced not guilty of one count of causing actual bodily harm and one count of affray.
Vint previously pleaded not guilty to both counts after a fight at the Duke of Wellington pub in Warwick Road, Banbury on June 23 when the Vint and Wilkins families were sharing the venue for 60th birthday celebrations.
The atmosphere turned when Gemma Vint, dressed in a tartan jacket and sporting a mohican, took the microphone for karaoke and began to chant “I am the fight starter” during a rendition of the Prodigy song “I am the fire starter”.
During the brawl that followed Miss Vint was alleged to have punched and kicked Joanna Wilkins while she was on the ground, causing her to sustain facial injuries. She then allegedly grabbed Miss Wilkins’ father Richard when he was “coming to his daughter’s aid”, and kicked him inside his thigh as “complete mayhem” broke out. But, defending, Thomas Ledden told the jury they could not be sure of the prosecution case, stating: “You might think that just maybe there is someone else out there who was responsible for assaulting Miss Wilkins that day and that this defendant stands here today at risk of wrongful conviction.”
Summarising, Judge Mary Jane Mowat said Mis Vint felt “intimidated” by people making “nasty remarks” and “throat cutting gestures”while she was singing. She claimed she felt “scared” and told her dad the family should leave the pub.
As they began walking towards the door, insults were thrown telling them to “go back up north” and a pint of cider was emptied over Miss Vint.
Miss Vint claimed she was then headbutted after confronting a man who hit her father, struck on the head with a bottle, kicked and then grabbed by her mohican having her head repeatedly hit against the bonnet of a white van.
Maintaining she was not responsible for the assault on Miss Wilkins or her father she said: “It was disgusting, it was like a football violence movie”, but added “I didn’t use physical violence towards anyone.”