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Vicar accused of smashing fiancée’s glasses during drunken argument cleared of assault

A vicar accused of smashing his fiancee’s glasses during a drunken argument after their relationship soured during lockdown has been cleared of assault.

Reverend Michelle Bailey, 54, has been charged with inflicting “horrendous violence” on her then-partner Diane Shore, 56, at the victim’s bungalow.

On Friday, however, she was cleared of assault by felony battery after claiming she acted in self-defence.

A court has heard the Reverend Bailey stayed at Miss Shore in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, during the coronavirus lockdown but their 10-month relationship ‘turned sour’.

Miss Shore said after being stuck in long queues while shopping on hot spring day, Reverend Bailey became ‘restless’ when she returned home and the couple shared a bottle of wine during dinner.

The North Staffordshire Justice Center heard that the Reverend Bailey had started pacing around the bungalow and when Miss Shore tried to calm her down the vicar ‘bit her so hard she thought the flesh was getting would detach”.

Reverend Bailey, however, said she only had one glass of wine and Miss Shore drank two bottles of red wine before starting a third. The vicar said she poured the rest of the bottle down the sink and that was when the confrontation began.

She told the court: “When she came back she found there was no wine. She got very angry. She locked the door, the front door. She had taken the keys out of the lock.

“She stood up in front of me, there was an argument.”