Officer cleared in love triangle case
PUBLISHED: 13:53 29 September 2006 | UPDATED: 22:16 28 May 2010
A PRISON love triangle ended in court after two jail warders clashed over a female officer. Rivals in romance John Roberts and Mark Williams - colleagues for 10 years at March s Whitemoor Prison - faced each other across a courtroom this week after Robert
A PRISON love triangle ended in court after two jail warders clashed over a female officer.
Rivals in romance John Roberts and Mark Williams - colleagues for 10 years at March's Whitemoor Prison - faced each other across a courtroom this week after Roberts was charged with assault.
The woman at the centre of the row, fellow prison officer Sonia Reeve, had first been partner to Roberts, but switched her affections to Mr Williams, Cambridge Crown Court was told.
Roberts, of Jim Hocking Court, in March, was accused of attacking Mr Williams, leaving him with a split lip needing 11 stitches. He denied assault and claimed Mr Williams hit him first, and was acquitted by the jury.
The court heard Ms Reeve had ended an 18-month relationship with Roberts and begun a new one with Mr Williams when the violence erupted late on November 3 last year.
The woman prison officer, who met both men at work, had been out with Roberts behind Mr Williams' back that night, the court heard.
It was claimed Roberts, in a jealous rage, drove her to Mr Williams' home for a confrontation with his rival.
Mr Williams told the jury his girlfriend said she was going out with friends that evening and he was surprised when she turned up with Roberts.
Confronted by his workmate, he did not know what was going on.
"He started pushing me to try to provoke an incident," said Mr Williams.
"I tried to reason with him and told him I was only interested in talking to Sonia."
Roberts pushed him in the throat, then landed a punch to his head before striking again - once full in the face - leaving him bleeding, he said.
Ms Reeve maintains she had gone out with Roberts to salvage their long-term friendship. But he became angry and began "slagging" off Mr Williams.
In the confrontation outside Mr Williams' Wisbech home, Roberts was aggressive, while Mr Williams remained calm, she said.
She stood between the pair after Roberts began pushing Mr Williams, then walked off in the hope one of them would follow her.
Roberts, a prison officer for almost 20 years, claimed he found out Ms Reeve had been two-timing him with Mr Williams before the end of their relationship and she had been "leading both of us on".
He drove to Mr Williams' to "put him in the picture".
But, he alleged, he was attacked first by Ms Reeve and then by Mr Williams before punching out to defend himself.