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Jury clear man of poisoning girlfriend
10:13am Wednesday 16th January 2013 in News
A MAN has been cleared by a jury of poisoning his girlfriend.
George Clark, 43, of Clements Close, Chelmer Village had been accused of using a prescription drug in a bottle of beer they shared in "revenge" for an alleged affair.
He was found not guilty on the charge at Chelmsford Crown Court, but convicted of causing Tracey Schott actual bodily harm, receiving a jail term of 15 months.
Clark, a hod carrier, was also given a two year restraining order to keep him away from Miss Schott.
Judge David Turner QC, told Clark: "This was a most unpleasant assault. You have an appalling record with 28 convictions for 50 offences, some for violence and the vast majority drink-related.
"This was a disgraceful assault on a vulnerable victim and there can only be one sentence," the judge added.
Clark had denied administering a noxious substance - the muscle relaxant and epilepsy drug Clonazepam - to Miss Schott on July 18 last year.
The courtroom heard he and Miss Schott had been in a relationship. She claimed it was over but he said it had started up again.
On July 18, they had been drinking together and on the way to her home in Writtle they stopped in the local churchyard.
Ms Schott, 36, told the jury she had shared Clark's beer and she started to "come over strange".
She added: "Then an argument started. He said I had been having an affair and it was 'my revenge", she claimed.
She said he punched her in the face, kicked her in the mouth and urinated over her. She managed to dial 999 but he knocked the mobile out of her hand.
She suffered a cut lip, bruising and swelling.
Clark told the jury he got a buzz out of putting prescription drugs into his alcohol.
He said the clonazepam was not his and that both he and Miss Schott had taken the medication some days before.He also claimed that she had fallen over and got a black eye a few days earlier.
Clark said he was very drunk and didn't even remember being in the churchyard or being arrested.
His barrister, Catherine Bradshaw, said both he and his victim had been drinking heavily that day and he had a long-standing problem with alcohol.