Man pleads “not guilty” to punching mother of child in the face and “flinging” her down the stairs

A woman broke down at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday while testifying against the father of her child, who allegedly verbally and physically abused her, leaving her ankle broken and “blood on the walls” of their home.

Phillip Lance, 46, is facing 5 years in prison for allegedly inflicting actual bodily harm on the mother of his child and girlfriend of 13 years, Diana MacPartland, 42, in Clacton on the evening of 22nd of July this year. MacPartland testifies that Lance pushed her down the stairs which resulted in a broken ankle. Lance denies that he pushed her and says that she was intoxicated and fell down. The trial began on the 19th of December.

Ms. MacPartland enters the court room on crutches, her ankle in a space boot. She sobs behind a protective screen as she recalled the incident.

MacPartland claims that Lance called her a “whore” and a “slut”, spat in her face and punched her before pushing her down the stairs. The fall broke multiple bones in her ankle, left cuts on her face and bruises all over her body.

MacPartland says that her ankle was “twisted” by the fall and that she had to “crawl on her knees” to the phone so she could call the police.  Attending the scene was police officer Pitchener, who said in his statement:

“There was blood all over Ms. Macpartland, the walls and the stair bannister … she answered the door on her knees.”

Macpartland told Officer Pitchener that Lance had fled the scene, however Lance admitted in court to be “hiding in the garden” out of fear of being “falsely arrested”. The defense argues that Macpartland was telling a “tissue of lies”, that she was “highly intoxicated” and fell down the stairs.

Lance claims that he is the victim. He claims that he was antagonised by drunken Macpartland.

Lance poured her 4th pint of cider down the sink because he believed “she had had enough”. After, he said he sustained cuts to his head from the pint glass which MacPartland threw at him. Lance had received “100s” of abusive text messages from MacPartland months after the alleged attack and days before the trial. Lance said that he was sober and “swears on his children’s lives” that MacPartland fell down that stairs.

“She [MacPartland] falls down the stairs all the time when she’s drunk”

MacPartland admitted being under the influence of alcohol, having had “three and a half pints on cider” before the incident, but denies being highly intoxicated.

Officer Pitchener describes MacPartland on the 22nd as “verging hysterical” and that her “speech was slurred”. The defense brought up her admitted “drinking problem” as well as alcohol related offences such as “drunk in charge of a child.”

The case continues. The verdict will be decided by a jury on the 20th of December.



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