A DISABLED woman yesterday told a court how she “blacked out” when ex-rugby league star Sean Long grabbed her around the throat in a row over a rented house.
Pamela Twist claimed the ex-Wigan Warriors coaching assistant verbally abused her before grabbing her around the throat on May 17, 2012, in full view of her children playing in the back garden.
The alleged victim also claimed that an intimidating associate of Long warned her that he could “make people disappear”. Long claims his Twitter account activity will prove his innocence.
Ms Twist, who wept when a recording of her distressed 999 call was played in court, said: “I saw him (Long) come towards me and closed my eyes. I could feel his hand around my neck and began to black out. I could hear the children shouting ‘mum, mum, mum’.
“It was almost as if I was being put to sleep. It made me feel worthless and horrible.”
The court heard how, prior to the alleged assault, Ms Twist and her ex-husband, Paul, had rented Long’s luxury five-bedroom home on Smithy Glen Drive, Billinge.
Ms Twist claimed Long, 37, would often turn up unannounced to collect post and deliberately locked the garage after she left to prevent her from picking up personal items.
Sean Joyce, defending Long, claimed Ms Twist had “fled” his client’s property because she had run up a series of huge debts and owed three months’ rent.
He also alleged that she had set up a fraudulent online shopping account in the name of Long’s estranged wife, Claire.
Mr Joyce claimed Ms Twist wanted “payback” and that Long had even received a threatening phone call from her new boyfriend.
Gladys Gannon, Ms Twist’s mother, described her daughter as being “in a terrible state” in the moments after the alleged assault. She said even the children had told her that “Sean Long strangled my mum”.
But, giving evidence at St Helens Magistrates’ Court, Long claimed he had never even spoken to Ms Twist.
He claimed thousands of pounds worth of electrical items had disappeared from his house when the Twist’s left and thousands of pounds worth of damage was caused.
Long produced evidence that he had conducted training sessions with Salford City Reds at Leigh Sports Village on the morning of May 17 before signing in at a gym in Golborne at 3.20pm – but told how he had recently broken his thumb and “couldn’t even grip a bottle”.
A tweet was also sent from his Twitter account at 4.04pm – less than 20 minutes after the time of the alleged assault.
He said: “I’m absolutely devastated she’s calling me a woman beater. I don’t do that. I’m an honest bloke. It’s pathetic.”