A WOMAN accused of assaulting a barmaid as she was being thrown out of a Kendal pub has been found not guilty after telling a court she was only trying to defend herself.

Karen Dare, 49, of Beast Banks, Kendal, was arrested after Helen Todd suffered an injury to her hand during an incident at the Last Orders pub on March 11.

Ms Todd said Ms Dare had become aggressive, and then violent, after being told to leave the pub But Ms Dare said Ms Todd had over-reacted and had used unnecessary force in her determination to make her leave.

Ms Dare pleaded not guilty to assaulting Ms Todd, causing her actual bodily harm, saying she had only acted in self defence, and she was found not guilty after a three-day trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

In evidence Ms Todd said Ms Dare – who “appeared to have had quite a lot to drink” – had been making too much noise at the bar, disturbing the people who were playing darts nearby.

She said she asked her to keep quiet and when she failed to do so, she asked her to leave.

Ms Todd said Ms Dare “showed no inclination” to leave the premises, so she tried to escort her out.

A CCTV video showed Ms Todd pulling Ms Dare by her arm until, just outside the front door, Ms Dare fell on her back on the pavement, taking the barmaid with her.

It was in that struggle, the jury heard, that Ms Todd sustained a torn ligament to her thumb, which had to be repaired by surgery.

Ms Todd – who by day works as a dinner lady at St Oswald’s Primary School, Burneside - said she had been “perfectly entitled” to throw Ms Dare out of the pub and denied a claim by defence barrister Natalia Cornwall that she had used too much force.

She said her first thought had been to remove a pint glass from Ms Dare’s grasp, because past experience told her that problem customers could use such glasses as weapons.

“I am well trained in my job and I am damn good at it,” she said. “I know how to behave”

Ms Dare said she had done nothing to deserve such action by Ms Todd, and said she only struggled because the barmaid was being rough with her.

She denied a claim that she had behaved badly or, while holding the pint glass, had threated to “have” Ms Todd.