Man acquitted of GBH following a court trial

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A Sheffield man accused of breaking his ex-girlfriend’s back in an assault almost four years ago has walked free from court after his name was cleared following a three-day trial.

Former nightclub bouncer Jamie Hill, of Hackenthorpe, was charged with grievous bodily harm after his former girlfriend Julie Desouza claimed he had assaulted her.

But a jury of six men and six women at Sheffield Crown Court returned a unanimous not guilty verdict after deliberating the evidence for four hours.

The decision was met with loud cheers from the public gallery.

An emotional Mr Hill then received hugs and kisses from those in the gallery as he made his way from the dock and out of the courtroom.

During the hearing, the court was told Ms Desouza spent five weeks in hospital after being injured in a row with her estranged boyfriend Mr Hill.

The 48-year-old’s spine was broken in a row after she returned home following a night out in February 2009.

Hill, now 37, who once worked the door at Flares nightclub in the city centre’s Holly Street, did not dispute causing the injury.

But he denied inflicting grievous bodily harm, claiming throughout that he was acting in self defence when Ms Desouza attacked him at the house they shared in Thurcroft, Rotherham, at the time of the incident.

Geraldine Kelly, prosecuting, told the court Mr Hill had picked up Ms Desouza throwing her upside down on to the bed.

But Mr Hill maintained he had put Ms Desouza’s arm up her back and shoved her to defend himself when she attacked him.

Miss Kelly also told the jury that Ms Desouza initially told paramedics she fell.

She later changed her version of events after pressure from her family which led her to lodge a formal complaint.

Mr Hill declined to comment on the verdict as he left the court building.