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Woman cleared of high heel attack

A woman who rammed a stiletto heel through her boyfriend's eye and into his brain during an argument in a taxi has been cleared of all charges on the orders of a judge.

Staci Hargreaves, 34, was acquitted of causing Gavin Taylor grievous bodily harm with intent and an alternative charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm on the second day of her trial at Bradford Crown Court.

Judge Peter Hunt ruled there was no evidence to counter Miss Hargreaves' argument that she kicked out in self-defence as she believed Mr Taylor, 28, was attempting to attack her.

Directing the jury to find her not guilty, he said: "There is no evidence to lead you to the conclusion the defendant was not acting in instinctive, reasonable self-defence."

On Monday, the jury of seven men and five women heard that Mr Taylor was in the front seat of a Toyota taxi in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and Miss Hargreaves was in the back with another man when an argument erupted.

After Mr Taylor turned round and knelt on his seat, Miss Hargreaves kicked out.

One of her 3in (7.6cm) stiletto heels penetrated her then boyfriend's eye, fracturing the socket, entering his brain and damaging a blood vessel. The court heard that Mr Taylor suffered life-threatening injuries and was in hospital for a month but later made a "remarkable" recovery.

But Mr Taylor refused to co-operate with the police or to give evidence in the trial.

Judge Hunt said neither of the other two people in the taxi was any real help in clarifying what happened that night, February 7 this year. The judge said it was clear that everyone in Mr Taylor and Miss Hargreaves' group were "heavily intoxicated with drink".

After the foreman of the jury confirmed the verdicts, Miss Hargreaves, from Stalybridge, Manchester, wiped away tears. She walked out of court saying she did not want to discuss the case but said: "I just want to get my life back together again."

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