Winton handbag robbery accused plead innocence

First published in News

TWO men accused of robbing women outside of a Winton bar say they are innocent of the charges.

A court was told that Daniel Gaffney elbowed Tessa Beck in the throat before stealing her handbag, while Stephen Eaton took her friend Carla Gosling’s handbag in the early hours of December 29, 2011 near the Buffalo Bar.

However, while Gaffney, 23, of Millfield, Poole and Eaton, 19, of Barnes Road, Bournemouth admit they spent part of the evening with the women, they have denied robbing them.

In a police interview held shortly after the alleged incident, Gaffney told officers: “It’s ridiculous – ridiculous.”

Gaffney was found with two packs of ten Richmond Menthol Superking cigarettes when he was arrested, and Miss Beck said she had two packets of ten in her bag when it was taken from her.

However, Detective Constable Shanena Stewart of Dorset Police said officers were unable to find any fingerprints on the packets.

Gaffney told the court he and Eaton, who had been kissing Miss Beck during the evening in the bar, had left after he rowed with Miss Gosling.

“Someone suggested that we all go on to Havana in Charminster,” he said.

“But there was a black gentleman (in Buffalo Bar) making new friends, and Carla took a disliking to him. I think she just found him creepy.”

He said he felt that she could turn on him and Eaton too, and when his friend and Miss Beck joined them outside, he said he called Miss Gosling a “freak” before the two men left and began walking home.“It never happened,” he said. “They might have been robbed, but it wasn’t me or my friend Stephen.”

The trial continues.

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