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Antiques dealer denies kicking Guscott's car

AN ANTIQUES dealer yesterday denied kicking Jeremy Guscott's car and charging towards it with his arm raised, on the second day of the international rugby player's trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Kenneth Jones, 47, repeatedly rejected suggestions by the former England player's barrister, Sally Bennett-Jenkins, that he started the incident outside his shop in Bath on 24 March this year. Mr Jones said he did hit the driver's window of the Mercedes sports car when it went past him at a set of traffic lights but did not kick it. He said he was not attacking Mr Guscott.

Earlier Miss Bennett- Jenkins showed Mr Jones an enhanced version of a video of the incident, taken from a security camera, which had been shown to the jury on Monday. She said the film clearly showed him kicking at the Mercedes and running towards it with his hand in the air. Mr Jones said it was not a kick. Miss Bennett-Jenkins also suggested the antiques dealer may have broken his ankle as he approached the car rather than later. An orthopaedic surgeon who operated on Mr Jones, Maurice Paterson, later agreed with Miss Bennett- Jenkins that the ankle fracture could have been caused Mr Jones "going over" on it.

Mr Jones denied trying to give his story to a news agency. The court was told Mr Jones' solicitors were working on a civil claim against Mr Guscott.

Two teenage brothers told the court they saw the England centre grabbing Mr Jones and pushing him across a pavement and into a doorway. The boys, aged 16 and 14, who cannot be named for legal reasons, went home and rang national newspapers to sell their stories. There was laughter as the 16- year-old, who was 15 at the time of the incident, said they received pounds 600 from The Mirror but just pounds 50 from The Sun.

The older boy told the court he saw Mr Guscott force Mr Jones backwards. He said: "He began pushing him with so much force the man did not seem to put up any resistance. It was the kind of force a rugby player would use. The guy could not have stopped it."

Asked by Miss Bennett-Jenkins if he saw anything of the build-up to the altercation he said: "I saw no provocation." He added: "He was acting like a bully."

Another witness, Michael Calow, said he did not intervene as he was frightened of what Mr Guscott might do to him.

Mr Guscott, 34, denies causing Mr Jones actual bodily harm. The trial continues today, when Mr Guscott could take the stand in the afternoon.