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Attack left driver with broken nose
THE Archbishop of York’s chauffeur described to a jury how his nose was broken when he was punched in the face by a man at the start of a service in York Minster.
David Smith told Leeds Crown Court yesterday a procession, including both the Archbishops of York and Canterbury, was moving along the South aisle at the beginning of the service for the General Synod on July 7 when he heard over his earpiece that a steward had been assaulted.
He then heard that a Minster policeman was some distance away at a car park and decided to see if he could help.
Mr Smith said he overtook the procession and another steward indicated to him the man allegedly involved in the assault allegation, Scott Apps.
He could see him standing in the central aisle which was where the procession would be going and gestured to him to move to his right.
Initially nothing happened, but then Mr Smith said was suddenly punched in the face after he heard the man say “I’ll get them” as the procession began to pass.
Mr Smith told the jury he could not be sure if Apps used the word “too” at the end of the remark, but the procession was led by children in the choir who were only feet away with the Archbishops further behind.
After the punch he put his arm round the man’s head and got him to the floor. He said: “I just held on to him basically and we writhed around the floor.”
He told the jury they moved towards the door and a member of the congregation and a steward helped him restrain the man while the service continued.
It was only after police had arrived and taken Apps away he saw his face in a mirror and realised his injuries.
He was seen in hospital, but had to wait for the swelling to his face to go down. His his nose, which was broken at the bridge in two places, was then manipulated into place.
He was wearing glasses at the time of the incident and they had gouged out a piece of his nose. Mr Smith said he was still having treatment because one nostril was blocked as a result. He also now suffers from tinnitus and had suffered a loss of his visual field to the right side and was not able to drive.
Apps, 42, of no fixed address, denies assault causing actual bodily harm to Mr Smith and an earlier common assault to volunteer steward Sean Atkinson.
Apps told police he was acting in self-defence because he felt threatened and thought he was going to be assaulted.
Michael Collins defending Apps suggested to Mr Smith he had approached Apps at speed and put his face close to him and it was at that point he was punched. “That’s not my version of events,” replied Mr Smith.
The trial continues.