Woman broke Welshman's teeth after row about English second homes

Woman, 61, who broke a proud Welshman’s teeth when she threw a glass of red wine over him in row about English buying second homes in Wales is slapped with a fine

  • Council support worker Julia Taylor left Alun Williams with two broken teeth 
  • Welshman had ‘strong views’ about number of houses in Wales being bought 
  • Taylor threw wine over him after feeling he’d been rude and ‘made fun’ of her 

A grandmother has been ordered to pay a proud Welshman £200 in damages after breaking his teeth when she threw a glass of red wine over him following a row about English people buying second homes in Wales.

Council support worker Julia Taylor, 61, left Alun Williams with two broken teeth after the glass accidentally connected with his mouth as she emptied the contents over his head at a 13th-century Chester pub.

A court heard Mr Williams had ‘strong views’ about the number of houses in his native country being snapped up by English people as holiday homes – squeezing out locals unable to get on the property ladder.

But after the row Taylor, from Birchwood in Warrington, Cheshire claimed Mr Williams had been rude and ‘made fun’ of her and threw the wine over him in a fit of rage. The victim later required dental treatment.

Council support worker Julia Taylor, 61, left Alun Williams with two broken teeth after the glass accidentally connected with his mouth as she emptied the contents over his head

At Warrington magistrates’ court, Taylor – who works for St Helens Council in Merseyside – admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm. As well as being told to pay damages to Mr Williams, she was also fined £120 and ordered to complete a 12 month community order.

The incident occurred on November 27 last year after the pair who were total strangers began talking to each other whilst out at the historic Victoria pub in Chester which dates back to 1269.

Rachel Bennion, prosecuting, said: ‘The defendant and the complainant were not known to each other but they had a disagreement following a discussion. The defendant used her glass to hit the complainant in the mouth.

‘He suffered two broken teeth, the upper left incisor and the upper left lateral incisor.’

In police interview, Taylor, who had no previous convictions, believed that she had only thrown the wine over him and that the glass had not made contact. 

The prosecutor said: ‘The defendant admitted speaking to the complainant in the pub and she said she threw her glass of wine in front of him. She said the glass did not break or come into contact with him.

‘There is no request for a restraining order. They did not know each other and live in different areas. The prosecution is asking for compensation for the victim as he had to undertake dental treatment.’

In mitigation defence lawyer Cathy Davis. ‘Although this matter is a serious one, it is, however, a complete one-off that will never recur. My client had been on an overnight stay in Chester with a friend and they had gone to the Victoria for a drink.

The row took place at The Victoria, a 13th-century Chester pub. Taylor had been staying in the city with a friend 

‘She does not usually socialise a lot and this opportunity presented itself. They were drinking steadily for a number of hours. Mr Williams arrived with friends, there were five or six of them. They were quite large men. Ms Taylor had a conversation with Mr Williams and he expressed strong views about the English buying properties in Wales.

‘Mr Williams then left but he returned a short time later and approached Ms Taylor. She felt that he was making fun of her and behaving in a brusque and combative manner. She was so troubled by the behaviour that she impulsively threw a drink at him.

‘There was no intention other than to swill him with the contents of her wine glass. The CCTV captures this. There was no slap, no punch in the face. However, the glass must have caused an injury to Mr Williams’s tooth.’

Miss Davis maintained that Mr Williams had sustained a ‘small chip’ to one of his teeth and added: ‘Ms Taylor accepts that this was probably the result of throwing the drink at Mr Williams. But it was never her intention to chip Mr Williams’s tooth.

Sentencing JP Dr Elaine Hemmings decided not to jail Taylor due to her previous good conduct 

‘She was so ashamed of what happened that she never told a soul about it until October 2022. It was a very small chip which had limited impact on Mr Williams. There is no evidence that he suffered any psychological harm.’

The court heard that the probation report had recommended Taylor be given a community order with rehabilitation days which would involve work on conflict resolution, victim empathy, and developing her anger management skills.

‘She poses a low risk of offending and repeat behaviour and there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.’ 

 Miss Davis said, adding: ‘Ms Taylor is a 61-year-old lady who has never had any previous convictions. There’s a reason for that. She has always chosen to be on the right side of the law. Before this night she had never been in a police station or in court before.

‘She has a daughter and two grandchildren. She has a job at St Helens Council as a support worker and is responsible for a number of individuals who require supported living. If incarcerated she would lose her job and would require looking for further employment.’

Sentencing JP Dr Elaine Hemmings told Taylor: ‘Taking everything into account, although this offence is very serious and crosses the custody threshold, because of your previous good character and because of your prompt guilty plea, which has had the effect of reducing the sentence, we are placing it as a high level community order.’

Many towns and villages in the North Wales area including Abersoch, Morfa Nefyn and Beaumaris have become magnets for wealthy English people looking to buy second homes sparking a property boom and leaving locals unable to afford houses in the area.

The Welsh Government have since launched a crackdown by allowing councils to set council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties to 300%. 

The criteria for self-catering accommodation being liable for business rates instead of council tax will also change at the same time, from 70 to 182 days.

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