A WOMAN has been cleared of biting her female opponent during a jelly wrestling contest.
Natalie Tiller, 22, was accused of drawing blood with her teeth in a Brighton nightclub as the two tussled in a paddling pool of goo.
Her victim, Kimberley Holmes, claimed she was bitten on her upper arm after the incident in Wahoo nightclub in West Street on June 28 2013.
Miss Holmes’s brother, Gary Holmes, was watching the wrestling match.
He told Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Friday: “I said there’s a bottle of champagne up for grabs if you get into the jelly pool.
“I think it was a bit silly to be quite honest.”
He told how he jumped into the fray after seeing his sister’s head go underneath the jelly.
Miss Holmes said: “We decided to get into the pool and have a roll about just for a bit of fun and then it kind-of escalated.”
She alleged Miss Tiller bit her on her upper right arm, leaving a bite mark.
The court heard Miss Tiller sent Facebook messages and texts to Miss Holmes afterwards apologising. One read: “Can we talk please? X”
Another read: “I don’t know what to say. I am really sorry.”
Miss Tiller, of The Ridgway, Brighton, told the court she was apologising for something she was told she had done – but could not remember because she had been drinking.
Rachel Lancaster, defending Miss Tiller, suggested Miss Holmes reported the biting to the police four days after the event to get revenge because she suspected “something more” than a friendship was going on between her boyfriend and Miss Tiller.
Miss Tiller said: “I just thought it was going to be playful wrestling and a bit of fun. We were both as drunk as each other,” she added and said there was aggression from both of them.
Giving her verdict, lead magistrate Rosalind Buchan said accounts of how much alcohol was consumed differed considerably. She said magistrates could not be sure that the biting was deliberate and cleared the 22-year-old of assault by beating.
Speaking after the case, Miss Tiller told The Argus the case was stressful. Commenting on whether the case should have come to court, she said: “It has been annoying. People will laugh. It’s comical.”