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Judge's frustration over delays to case where 'man commanded pit bull to attack girlfriend', court told

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 12, 2014

Gloucester Crown Court

PROSECUTORS have been warned to “get their act together” to bring a case against a man alleged to have held his partner’s head down and set his pit bull dog on her.

Joel Armstrong’s defence team are still waiting for papers that should have been served by December 6.

The 32-year-old has been charged with three separate acts of violence on his girlfriend including another incident where he allegedly stabbed her and one where he is said to have punched her.

But Gloucester Crown Court previously heard Armstrong, of no fixed abode and remanded in prison, intended to deny all the charges against him.

Defending, Kannan Siva said a dog expert was intended to be called to examine the bite. He said he had been chasing the files, but to no avail.

Prosecutor Janine Wood said: “The officer in the case has been having some health issue and for whatever reason they have not been served.”

Judge Jamie Tabor QC spoke to DC Rosalind Daglish, from Gloucestershire police, who turned up to the courtroom, about the missing evidence on Thursday.

DC Daglish said she had been made aware of the problems at 4pm on Wednesday as the main officer in the case had heart problems.

But judge Tabor said: “He or his superior officer needed to do something. The state has put him into custody and the state has a responsibility to make sure things are working properly.”

Judge Tabor QC agreed to put Armstrong’s plea and case management hearing back a week, but said his three day trial should remain timetabled for February 26.

The court previously heard Armstrong was charged with assault causing actual bodily harm by punching her in August 2012. Later that year he was said to have stabbed her with a knife, causing her grievous bodily harm.

On October 1 last year, following an argument between him and his partner in Oak Drive in Dursley, he is alleged to have assaulted her and commanded his pit bull dog to attack her while he held her head down. She was said to have suffered a fractured eye socket and watering to her eye.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire police said: “We take the judge’s comments on board and while the circumstances were very unusual we will work to ensure lessons are learned.”

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