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Businessman speaks out after being cleared of GBH

by Mike Griffiths

Business owner Andrew Woodhouse has spoken to ITV News today after a jury unanimously cleared him of causing grievous bodily harm.

Mr Woodhouse was accused of using excessive force when he chased and injured two thieves stealing fuel from his company in March last year.

One of the men was left with two broken legs and a broken arm.

But, after suffering repeated thefts, Mr Woodhouse says he acted to defend his business - and couldn't have done anything differently.

Read more: Businessman walks free after attacking two thieves

CPS 'respects jury verdict' in Andrew Woodhouse case

A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service said the decision was taken to charge Andrew Woodhouse with grievous bodily harm because they were satisfied there was 'sufficient evidence' and that it was 'in the public interest' to do so.

Mr Woodhouse has since been found not guilty by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court.

In light of the evidence, including the injuries suffered by one of the intruders, it was the prosecution case that Mr Woodhouse’s actions during the incident went beyond what the law allows for in terms of self-defence.

We therefore decided that it was appropriate to bring the matter to court so that a jury could determine the issue.

Ultimately, all evidence relating to criminal cases is tested during the trial process, with the jury being the final arbiters of guilt or innocence.

We respect the jury’s decision on this matter.

– Crown Prosecution Service

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Thief attack: Woodhouse's actions 'showed courage'

Andrew Woodhouse sprang into action in March last year after a burglar alarm system at his business premises alerted him to the thieves via text message.

When he found Kevin Green, 53, and Timothy Cross, 32, trying to escape with stolen fuel, Mr Woodhouse grabbed a fence post one was carrying as a weapon - and used it to fight back against them.

The court heard he left Green with two broken legs and a broken arm, and grappled with Cross until police arrived.

The prosecution argued Mr Woodhouse had lost his temper and "gone over the top", and contested claims of reasonable self-defence.

But defence barrister Andrew Taylor said Mr Woodhouse had showed courage, and his actions had meant two thieves were caught.

Mr Taylor admitted that while the "red mist" may have descended on the defendant, he had acted in desperation after his hard-fought business had almost been "wiped out by crime".

The court heard that Mr Woodhouse's firm, which he set up 20 years ago, had been repeatedly targeted by thieves in recent years, with machinery worth £15,000 and £20,000 being taken.

Green and Cross were charged with theft and later fined £75 by magistrates.

Had Mr Woodhouse been convicted of grievous bodily harm, he faced the possibility of going to jail.

Read more: Businessman 'hopes case serves as a reminder'

Businessman 'hopes case serves as a reminder'

An Abergavenny businessman cleared of attacking two thieves stealing fuel from his premises says he hopes his case will 'serve as a reminder' to other would-be intruders.

I am pleased I managed to apprehend the thieves and pleased they were brought to justice.

Over the last 10 months I have been fortified by the enormous support from family, friends and others who were aware of my case.

Their support helped me no end and allowed me to gather the strength to stay strong and focus on defending myself.

I would like to extend my thanks to all those who have assisted me in very difficult circumstances.

– Andrew Woodhouse

Read more: Businessman walks free after attacking two thieves

Businessman walks free after attacking two thieves

Andrew Woodhouse said he acted to defend his business, which had been repeatedly targeted by thieves Credit: Wales News Service

An Abergavenny businessman has spoken of his 'harrowing' fight for justice after being cleared of attacking two thieves he caught stealing fuel from his premises.

A jury took just 20 minutes to find Andrew Woodhouse, 44, not guilty of two grievous bodily harm charges.

Cardiff Crown Court heard Mr Woodhouse beat one of the thieves so badly that he broke both his legs and one of his arms.

But the jury decided Mr Woodhouse had every right to use force to defend his business, which the court heard had been repeatedly targeted by thieves.

Mr Woodhouse said: "The last 10 months have been very harrowing for me, my family and the people I employ."

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