Charter Fair attack: Man denies GBH of young rugby player

Buckingham Charter Fair

Buckingham Charter Fair

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A man has denied leaving a talented rugby player with a fractured eye socket amid ‘conflicting accounts’ of what happened and whether a weapon was used – a court heard.

Leonard Cohen, 47, is charged with GBH without intent after the Charter Fair attack in October which left Adam Clarke, 20, needing surgery to insert metal plates into his face.

Rugby. Buckingham (green) v Alchester (blue).Adam Clarke, try.'130112M-A095 ENGPNL00220130114122303

Rugby. Buckingham (green) v Alchester (blue).Adam Clarke, try.'130112M-A095 ENGPNL00220130114122303

But Mr Cohen appeared at Aylesbury Crown Court on Monday morning and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The court heard how there are ‘conflicting accounts’ of what happened on the eve of the Charter Fair on October 18 and ‘if a weapon was used’.

Judge Montgomery QC has asked for doctors reports of the precise injuries suffered by Adam.

The court also heard how CCTV footage, from a police officer’s wearable device, may hold clues as to what happened.

Mr Cohen, of Codrington Road in Bristol, will next appear in court on May 4 at either Aylesbury or Amersham Crown Court for a case management ahead of a trial in June.

It is likely to be a five-day case because there are so many witnesses.

In the aftermath of the incident in October, chairman of the rugby club Julian Cook said he feared Adam, a First XV winger, may never be able to play rugby again.

Former Royal Latin School pupil Adam (pictured left, scoring a try) was walking with three friends along Buckingham High Street at the junction with Verney Close, shortly before 2am.

They got into a row with another group of men and Adam was hit in the face.

He suffered a fractured right eye socket and fractured cheekbone and had to be taken by ambulance to Milton Keynes Hospital.

He was later transferred to the Maxillofacial Surgery Unit at Luton & Dunstable Hospital.

The case continues.