Boyfriend claim in baseball bat attack trial
AN 18-year-old girl has told a jury she had been involved in a relationship with a 38-year-old since being a schoolgirl.
Georgia Grace’s father and grandfather are on trial accused of assaulting the man she claims was her former boyfriend after discovering about the relationship.
Kenneth James O’Keefe, 71, and his son, also Kenneth James O’Keefe, aged 38, deny assaulting Neil Morgan, then aged 38, after allegedly discovering Miss Grace had been seeing him and visiting his home.
Miss Grace, now 18, took to the witness stand and told Swansea Crown Court she had known Mr Morgan since she was aged five — a claim he denies.
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Mr Morgan had already told the jury he had never met her face-to-face but admitted the pair were friends on Facebook and he had been sending her text messages.
Miss Grace told defence barrister James Hartson she had been in a “consensual relationship” with Mr Morgan but could not recall for how long, although said it had been since she was at school.
She said she visited his home in Southville Road, Port Talbot three times a week, without her parent’s knowledge.
Her father and grandfather, both from Crimson Avenue, Port Talbot, deny using a baseball bat each to repeatedly hit Mr Morgan.
He was left with bruising to his face and body as well as a broken ankle. He has also lost 50 per cent of the hearing in his left ear.
O’Keefe senior denies a charge of possessing an offensive weapon, namely the metal baseball bat, and said the metal bat belonged to Mr Morgan, who had brought it from his house to attack O’Keefe senior.
The father and son admit going to Mr Morgan’s house to talk to Mr Morgan about the relationship with Miss Grace but they say a scuffle started when Mr Morgan brought a metal baseball bat out of his house and approached O’Keefe senior and began attacking him, before O’Keefe junior intervened.
O’Keefe senior had marks to his back, the jury have been told, but Mr Morgan denies inflicting them.
In his police interview O’Keefe senior said he was “disgusted” when he found out about the relationship. His son was described as being “furious” when he found out.
O’Keefe senior said he butted Mr Morgan during the incident, but denied inflicting more than 12 blows across his body.
He said he did not go to the house with the intention of violence, but said he felt he needed to protect himself against Mr Morgan.
O’Keefe senior said he put his head down as Mr Morgan approached him and Mr Morgan “came straight into it, head first.”
When he was told the list of injuries Mr Morgan had received, O’Keefe senior replied “Oh dear” and “Good God”.
His son has already admitted he took a wooden baseball bat to the house after pleading guilty to a charge of possessing an offensive weapon.
Miss Grace said she had seen the bat in Mr Morgan’s house on several occasions, and that it belonged to him — a claim Mr Morgan had already denied.
Both men deny a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm.
The trial continues.