Barnoldswick man is cleared of assault following row over £34,000 debt

First published in Great Harwood

A MAN said to have gone round to a company to enforce a £34,000 debt has been cleared of attacking a director.

Robert Sheldon, 45, was found not guilty of assaulting James Hemmingway, causing him actual bodily harm, in January last year.

The defendant, of Bolland Street, Barnoldswick, had earlier been acquitted of a charge of dangerous driving by the jury on the direction of Judge Graham Knowles, QC.

Sheldon, who had denied the allegations against him at Burnley Crown Court, was discharged from the dock by the judge.

The court had heard claims Sheldon had turned up at Waste Clean Group, in Great Harwood, to enforce a debt and was said to have set about Mr Hemmingway, striking him repeatedly and leaving him with a black eye and swelling to his face and head.

The jury had been told Waste Clean Group had owed just short of £34,000 to Dennison Plant Hire.

Proprietor Richard Dennison was said to have passed over the debt to the defendant.

The court heard when the defendant was arrested, he claimed Mr Hemmingway had come at him.

He had told police officers anything that happened by way of violence was simply accidental or him trying to repel an attack.

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