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Man denies series of assaults on people after they sneezed

Seven of the assaults were said to have taken place in March and four in February
Seven of the assaults were said to have taken place in March and four in February

A man has appeared in court accused of committing a string of assaults on people after they sneezed.

Stephen Jackson, 49, of Dixon Court, Carlisle, entered not guilty pleas at Carlisle Magistrates' Court to allegations he assaulted 11 women, one man and a child between October 2014 and March this year.

Seven of the assaults were said to have taken place in March and four in February.

He denies assault by beating against the following complainants - Jean Thompson, Moureen Taylor, Janet English, Elizabeth Whyte-Caine, Christopher Dale, Thelma Stewart, Muriel Lumley, Cynthia Nicholson, Janice Bell, Carolyn Millican, Mira Evans and Ann Hewetson.

Jackson also pleaded not guilty to an offence of common assault against a young girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

He also denied intending to cause Wayne Green harassment, alarm or distress on March 12 by using threating, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

All the offences were said to have been committed in Carlisle, with several understood to involve mostly elderly people being slapped on the head.

The defendant faces a two-day trial at the same court on a date to be fixed.

He was granted unconditional bail.