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Woman cleared of threatening to knife baby on Tube train

City of London Magistrates’ Court heard that Ms Brannigan and seven other relatives had been out to celebrate her brother’s graduation.

A woman has been cleared of threatening to knife a baby on a packed Tube train after getting into a row with the youngster’s family.

Millicent Barnes, 22, was accused of screaming abuse at Geraldine Brannigan and demanding her baby daughter “apologise” to her for kicking her from her pram.

Barnes, from the Lindley Estate in Peckham, was said to have become aggressive towards Ms Brannigan and her family when they boarded the Central Line on July 18 this year at around 5.30pm when the train was packed with rush hour commuters.

We therefore find the charge not proved beyond reasonable doubt Ian Luder

City of London Magistrates’ Court heard that Ms Brannigan and seven other relatives had been out to celebrate her brother’s graduation.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, Ms Brannigan said she initially thought Barnes was mentally unwell or on drugs because she was so loud and aggressive.

Ms Brannigan: “She said she didn’t give a f*** about the child and she’ll stab it.”

The complainant filmed the row on her mobile and said Barnes kept trying to push her hands away to prevent her getting a clear shot of her before she and her family left the train at St Paul’s.

Another passenger, Chantala Wilson, claimed Barnes was abusive and threatening towards her when she tried to intervene in the situation.

Barnes denied one count of using threatening words or behaviour with intent to cause alarm or distress.

In her evidence, Barnes said the argument started when Ms Brannigan’s father – who was pushing the pram – rammed her twice in the leg with it and refused to apologise.

She said the man repeatedly refused to apologise to her, and that Ms Brannigan’s brother threatened “I’ll do you in” if she didn’t stop talking to him.

Barnes said she felt ganged up on by the Brannigan family, saying that she felt if she had been white they would have apologised to her.

She added that she was angry about being told to be quiet so as not to upset the child when at least four adults were shouting at her, and denied ever threatening the baby.

Barnes was arrested after the British Transport Police released images of her alleged tirade against the Brannigan family.

Chairman of the bench Ian Luder said there were discrepancies between the evidence of Ms Brannigan and Ms Wilson.

Clearing her of using threatening words or behaviour, he said: “It’s clear to us on the evidence that whatever the precise cause this was a nasty altercation between you, Ms Brannigan and members of her family – the result was for Ms Brannigan to fear violence emanating from you.”

Mr Luder said that for the prosecution to be successful, it must be proved Barnes intended to cause feelings of fear or harassment in the complainant.

He continued: “While we’ve no doubt that this is what Ms Brannigan felt, we don’t consider this was your intention, we therefore find the charge not proved beyond reasonable doubt.”

Barnes hugged her family following her acquittal.

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