AN ALLEGATION of common assault was fabricated by a man to get a former friend into trouble, a court heard.
Tom Stokes, 20, and Andrew Ball, 19, both of Malpas, testified that Jonathan Fairbrother, of Nomansheath, pushed, prodded and punched Mr Stokes on October 24 last year.
Fairbrother, 18, of Heath Row, denied the incident ever happened and his solicitor Derek Millard-Smith told magistrates at Chester: 'I don't believe this matter should be before court. Your time has been wasted by a fabrication to soil my client's character.'
Mr Millard-Smith alleged Mr Stokes bore a grudge against Fairbrother and that, in addition to the assault claim, his client's car had been petrol-bombed last year, coincidentally at a time when Mr Stokes' distinctive Subaru car was spotted in an adjacent street.
Mr Stokes told the court that he proved to police he was elsewhere at the time.
Fairbrother told the court his parents had witnessed Mr Stokes' car parked outside the family home overnight with its engine running, and Mr Stokes had then been aggressive towards Fair-brother's father.
Mr Stokes denied this, saying it was an expensive car to run and would cost a fortune to leave the engine running.
Magistrates threw out the charge against Fairbrother after concluding the prosecution evidence was not credible.
The court heard the assault allegations centred on a Volkswagen Golf which Fairbrother bought from Mr Stokes.
Mr Stokes told the court that at the time money was not a problem and he had driven a number of expensive cars, including a Subaru, a Rover Coupé, a Bentley and a Jaguar XJS bought for him by a partner in the communications sales business he oversaw.
But he claimed Fairbrother owed him £150 for the Golf and so on October 24 drove to the defendant's house with his friend Andrew Ball to ask for it, where he clamed Fairbrother became aggressive.
Mr Stokes told the court: 'Jonny grabbed me by the side of the face, then flung me into the car driver's seat.
'Then he bent down and started pointing at me, calling me a mither. Then he was prodding me and gave me one final punch before he really grabbed hold of the door and slammed it.'
This account was denied by Fairbrother, who told the court he had a civil conversation with Mr Stokes and Mr Ball when they visited him on October 24.
Fairbrother claimed he paid the remainder of the money within weeks of taking the car and Mr Stokes admitted he could have received an extra £50 in a drinking environment and not remembered it.
Mr Stokes also told the court that at the time he was inexperienced in selling cars, yet Mr Ball testified that before the incident he and Mr Stokes had often bought second-hand cars to sell them on and that as a result both had quite a good knowledge of cars.