FORMER Clyde 1 DJ Suzie McGuire “started her own campaign to cast dirt” on her estranged husband by reporting him to police last year, a court was told yesterday.
Solicitor advocate Billy Lavelle, defending Derek Mitchell, said there was a pattern of behaviour from Crown witnesses who gave evidence of “lies and fairytales and fabrication”.
He invited the jury to acquit Mitchell on the four assault charges and breach of the peace charge he faces at Paisley Sheriff Court.
Mr Lavelle said: “Susan Mitchell’s supporting witnesses are all closely connected to her – there’s not a single independent witness, someone who is not closely connected, not a single one.”
He told the jury they “must find” Miss McGuire a credible and reliable witness before they could convict his client.
Miss McGuire’s cousin, Jacqueline Miller, gave evidence to support the breach of the peace allegation. She said that while on the phone to the DJ she heard Mitchell banging on a door and told her cousin to call the police.
However, Mr Lavelle questioned her evidence, pointing out that Mrs Miller had not told the police this when she gave a statement last year.
He said: “She hears banging on the door and what does she do, ladies and gentlemen? She tells the person who is being threatened and whose door is about to be kicked in to phone the police, puts the phone down and goes back, ladies and gentlemen, to her dinner guests.”
Mr Lavelle asked jurors to “use their common sense and common knowledge”.
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He said Miss McGuire reported to the police that night she had a “minor argument” and Mitchell’s version of events concurred. Mr Lavelle said Miss McGuire alleged she was attacked on Christmas Eve 2009, by Mitchell at Mitchell Street car park, where he throttled her and bit her face, leaving her with a “badly bitten face”.
Her mother Sheila Johnston told the court she saw a bite mark on her daughter’s face on Christmas Day.
Mr Lavelle said police that were called, friend Laura McConnachie and Mitchell’s father Robert, saw no injury on her face after the alleged attack, which is no longer on the indictment.
Mr Lavelle also said there was no photo of the alleged injury shown to the jury, after Miss McGuire claimed she had one, and no anger management book she claimed belonged to Mitchell. Miss McGuire claimed she was assaulted by a drunken Mitchell after the Eaglesham fair in 2011 when he broke her finger trying to grab keys from her, in front of her daughters Millie and Daisy.
Mr Lavelle said: “She said, ‘The girls will say the same’. I say that’s a wee slip-up on Suzie Mitchell’s part. How does she know the girls will say the same; how will she know that without having spoken to them?”
He added that Miss McGuire’s comment about her son allegedly telling her that his father would shoot her was said for no reason “other than to get it in, to try and influence you in some way”.
Mr Lavelle said Miss McGuire went to the police in 2013 alleging Mitchell had assaulted her on a number of occasions. He invited the jury to believe that, at the time, she had “no leverage” left because they had split up.
The lawyer said that in 2013, Miss McGuire reported Mitchell following her on a road in East Kilbride and that she lied in court about the street it was on, claiming it was a country road that he “had no reason to be on”.
Mr Lavelle said: “I say … she was simply lying to you in the hope that you would convict him of this charge.
“The pattern, I say, is clear. Once Susan Mitchell had no more leverage over Derek Mitchell, she started her own campaign to cast as much dirt on him as she could. She referred to incidents she knew had already been reported to police and found witnesses, closely connected to her to speak to that.”
Mitchell denies the charges and the trial continues.
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