A YOUNG woman who had her assault case dropped has spoken of her six months of hell.

Sydney Winder was in the dock for allegedly beating 6ft Greg Turner at an Asda petrol station in Brighton last May.

Miss Winder, who is 5ft 3in, said he began abusing her from his car and beeping at her at the station in Crowhurst Road, Hollingbury, after she paid for fuel.

Mr Turner, a teacher, then approached her and began aggressively making obscene gestures.

Miss Winder says she was left feeling intimidated by the incident, telling The Argus she had experienced this kind of trauma with her mother, who has been abused by men in the past.

But Miss Winder used a secret weapon to defend herself from the abuse.

She said: “I studied jiu jitsu from 2015 to 2017 and then did a women’s self-defence course which specialises in situations like that.

“It teaches you how to analyse the situation you’re in with aggressive men. He was a prime example of the type of people you get in these kinds of situations.”

Miss Winder, 23, scuffled with Mr Turner, punching him in the face before he grappled her on to the bonnet of his car.

He had to be dragged off by an onlooker.

Police arrived and Mr Turner was in tears, but it was Miss Winder who was arrested.

She said the situation should have been dealt with months ago.

On the first day of the trial in November, Mr Turner said he was frustrated by the length of time Miss Winder took paying in the station, which is why he beeped the horn.

When Ed Fish, defending, asked if this was a reasonable response, Mr Turner said: “I don’t know. If swearing and shouting is aggressive, then I was aggressive.”

The case against Miss Winder, of Taunton Road, Bevendean, was dropped at Brighton Magistrates’ Court yesterday after new evidence came to light which made for an unfair trial.

Magistrate Peter Sutton told her: “Your case has been dropped because of evidence which was available which the Crown has not disclosed.”

But Miss Winder, an aspiring child psychologist, says she should never have been in this position in the first place, and it has merely added to months of hell for her.

Speaking after she was allowed to walk free, Miss Winder said: “My mum was diagnosed with severe pneumonia in October – she nearly died – and she has suffered septicaemia. Then my case got adjourned in November.

“It should have been dealt with at the first hearing. I had to quit my job as an accounts assistant to care for my mum full time.

“It has been really stressful for me with the court case going on as well. I’ve had it dangling over my head, worrying my mum and my friends.

“I’m just happy this is all over now.”

Miss Winder is now aiming to focus on her part-time psychology studies, and wants to put this behind her.

“I didn’t want to have anything on my record,” she said. This could have really affected my future career. I’m not a bad person.”

She also had a message for other women who have been subjected to such abuse at the hands of men.

“I feel like it’s something that needs to be addressed,” she said.

“There are a lot of women going through this sort of thing. There are men that can be quite bullish.”

“They need to stay strong.”