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Ex cleared of beating minister

PUBLISHED: 16:40 04 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:13 25 August 2010

A METHODIST minister's ex-girlfriend accused of breaking his nose in a tussle outside his house was acquitted at Croydon Crown Court last Friday.

A METHODIST minister's ex-girlfriend accused of breaking his nose in a tussle outside his house was acquitted at Croydon Crown Court last Friday.

The jury verdict followed a week's trial of three people, all of whom had been charged with causing actual bodily harm to the Rev Russell Bates, 44.

Cleared of the allegation were Jane Corp, 39, of Anstridge Road, Eltham, and 21 year-old Tony Grayson, 21, of Alderwood Road, Eltham, but her son Laurie Corp, 22, also of Anstridge Road, was found guilty and will be sentenced on March 31.

The Rev Bates, formerly of Bromley Methodist Church, is at present under suspension after complaints had been made against him last year.

He is now lodging his second appeal against the decision.

He claimed in evidence that Jane Corp had slapped him in the face and punched him in the nose with a clenched fist.

Soon afterwards Mr Bates got into his car parked in the driveway of his house in Rochester Avenue, Bromley, but the door was suddenly opened by Mr Corp who, he alleged, started to hit him in the face.

Mr Grayson opened the back door of the car and joined in, hitting him in the shoulder and face.

Ms Corps said that Mr Bates had punched her first and she lashed out in self-defence.

She added that he had been violent towards her in the past.

Her son said the minister had grabbed him around the neck and hit him, making him lose his balance and falling forward.

He denied throwing any punches at Mr Bates.

Grayson admitted he had got into the back of the car but he, too, denied hitting Mr Bates.


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