Syal daughter cleared of assaulting model at party
The teenage daughter of the television actress and writer Meera Syal was yesterday cleared of attacking a male model at a birthday party.
A jury took less than an hour to clear Chameli Bhatia, 19, of assault over the incident that left Christian Pannell needing 14 stitches to cuts to his face.
Ms Bhatia, who denied the charge, said that it had been an accident and her attempts to apologise afterwards were rebuffed.
Ms Bhatia had earlier told the court that she had been threatened by Mr Pannell's friends – who called themselves "The Team" – and she had been subjected to bullying via Facebook.
Giving evidence on Wednesday, Ms Syal claimed Mr Pannell's father telephoned on the day after the incident in September last year and had threatened to "take her to the cleaners".
Two months later, the family received a letter from Mr Pannell's solicitors, stating that he wished to make a claim for damages. The court heard the letter asked if Miss Bhatia had a trust fund or any insurance.
In a statement after the case, Meera Syal, said that her daughter had "waited 14 months for her name to be cleared of this terrible charge. It has placed a huge and painful burden on her young shoulders. We always believed in her innocence and that this was an unfortunate accident and hope now that she can return to her studies and be allowed to continue her young life without any further intrusion."
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Jennifer Lawrence face palms Emma Watson at Christian Dior show in Paris
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2014: Briton critically injured in San Fermin festival
Israel's deadliest Gaza air strikes yet kill five children from same family as Palestinian rocket barrage continues
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
- 4 BBC’s new Game of Thrones slayer 'The Last Kingdom' relies on Saxon appeal, creators say
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1