Man accused of snake attack cleared

Brass Scales of Justice
Brass Scales of Justice

A man was today (Wednesday) cleared of abducting his girlfriend then throwing a snake at her during a violent assault - as his alleged victim was told she faces jail for contempt of court.

Eduards Koleda was accused of holding Audrey Duffy against her will at an address in Arbroath in February last year.

He was accused of chasing her, grabbing her and pinning her down to stop her leaving the property before damaging a mobile phone SIM card and attempting to eat it.

Prosecutors claimed he then slammed a window shut in order to stop her from shouting for help before beginning an assault on her.

It was alleged he then shouted, swore and punched her on the body before throwing a snake at her.

Koleda was then said to have seized her by the body, pushed her and caused her to fall to the ground.

Once down he was then said to have seized her by the body, uttered threats, held her down and presented a pair of scissors at her, placed them against her skin and repeatedly struck her on the head.

He went on trial before a sheriff and jury at Dundee Sheriff Court today with a neighbour telling the court that a woman had been seen shouting for police to be called before Koleda slammed it shut.

A police officer then told how he had been called to the scene and found Miss Duffy crying and shaking in a neighbour’s flat.

She then gave a statement that formed the basis for the charge against Koleda.

But when she was called to give evidence Miss Duffy claimed she “couldn’t remember” anything about the incident and said she didn’t know if she had given a statement to police over it.

Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson then declined to lead further evidence and Koleda was found not guilty.

It then emerged that the trial had been delayed in starting earlier this week after Miss Duffy failed to turn up for court.

She claimed she had not travelled from her home in Arbroath - because Koleda himself had called her and said she was not needed.

Sheriff Alastair Brown found her guilty of contempt of court and told her it was “wilful and flagrant”.

He added: “You can’t take the word of the accused that you are not to come to court and give evidence against him.”

The sheriff warned her she could face a prison sentence when she appears again next month.

Koleda, 34, of Sidney Street, Arbroath, denied a charge of abduction and assault to injury on indictment at Dundee Sheriff Court.

He was found not guilty an hour into his jury trial.

Sentence was deferred on Miss Duffy until February and she was released on bail meantime.