St Albans man's appeal to have racist assault conviction lifted fails
PUBLISHED: 06:00 28 October 2016
An appeal against conviction of a man who was jailed for a racist assault on a former friend has failed.
They fell out when she let slip to his partner that he was a cheat.
Mark Stuart Alyson, 45, burst into the woman’s home in Marlborough Road, St Albans, and subjected her to a terrifying beating on an April lunchtime in 2013.
She was pushed onto some stairs and punched, leaving her with bruising to her face.
As he left, Alyson, of Newgate Close, Jersey Farm, St Albans, added insult to injury by hurling vile racist abuse, calling the woman a “n***er” and a “black c**t”.
He denied the offences but was convicted of racially aggravated assault by beating in August this year.
He was jailed for six months at St Albans Crown Court and last Friday (21) he appeared before the Court of Appeal via a video link from prison as his lawyers launched a bid to clear his name.
They argued that his trial was unfair because he had not been allowed to bring up evidence of the victim’s own alleged “bad character”.
He claimed there was evidence that she had been involved in drugs and prostitution - and that violence was an “occupational hazard”, appeal judges were told.
Had he been allowed to quiz her about that, the jury might have thought her injuries had resulted from her lifestyle.
But after the Court of Appeal hearing, three of the country’s most senior judges ruled that Alyson’s conviction was safe.
Lord Justice Simon said: “The evidence he wanted to give was not that she had been a victim of violence in the past, but that these were the type of activities which often lead to violence.”
The trial judge had been correct not to allow the “bad character” evidence into the trial and the conviction was therefore “safe”, he added.