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Archived News from February 2004

18th February 2004 17:58

Catfight terror at casino
Sheffield Star, http://www.sheffieldtoday.net, 18 February 2004

A FORMER Sheffield United player was at the centre of an alcohol-fuelled catfight that left his former lover with a broken leg, a court heard.
When ex-England defender Keith Curle's girlfriend Germaine Smith spotted his former lover in a city nightspot she couldn't contain her anger, prosecutor Rachael Harrison told Sheffield Crown Court.
Smith, aged 31, is alleged to have confronted Deirdre Dunseath, who had previously been involved with Curle for two years, in the ladies toilets at Napoleon's casino on Ecclesall Road in the early hours of June 20, 2003.
Smith, of Ecclesall Road, then allegedly followed Miss Dunseath to the bar, knocked her to the floor and repeatedly kicked and stamped on her. She denies GBH with intent.
Miss Dunseath told the court: "She attacked me from the front while Keith tugged my hair and forced me into a crouching position. She started kicking and stamping on me violently, on my chest, ribs, thighs and knees, until the bouncers came.
"I was in total shock, and when I was picked up off the floor my leg felt like jelly and I couldn't stand on it."
Following the attack Miss Dunseath, of Walkley Bank Road, Walkley, had to undergo an operation to repair her broken leg and spent three months on crutches, the court heard.
Prosecutor Miss Rachael Harrison said: "There was bad feeling between the girls because Miss Dunseath had formerly been involved with Mr Curle. The defendant stamped on her leg with some force."
Miss Dunseath told the court Smith approached her in the toilets, where she was standing by the mirrors with her friend Francesca Ciccarella, 21.
She said: "She verbally abused me in an aggressive manner, and when I tried to walk out of the toilets she grabbed me from behind."
A short scuffle followed before she left the toilet and went over to Mr Curle, now manager of Mansfield Town, who was standing at the bar.
Miss Dunseath added: "I told him what had happened, and said 'this has got to stop', but then Germaine came out of the toilets and saw me talking to him, so she came over and attacked me."
Miss Ciccarella said: "I was really upset because I'd never seen a fight, especially one like that.''
Smith's defence team claim Miss Dunseath had been hassling Curle and telephoning him in the night since the pair broke up before Christmas 2002.
The trial continues.


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