HEROIN user Robin Williamson was cleared by a jury of spraying CS gas into the face of a woman walking alone in east Oxford.

Mr Williamson, 22, of the Causeway, Steventon, had pleaded not guilty to mugging the woman and possessing a CS gas canister with intent to rob.

He told Oxford Crown Court that he had been taking heroin and cannabis with Stacey Schneider, who has already been dealt with after pleading guilty to robbery.

Mr Williamson said: "I remember Stacey saying she was going to mug somebody. I didn't pay much attention, I wasn't interested."

They left the house in Cowley Road because he wanted to obtain more drugs on credit. He then saw Miss Schneider cross Leopold Street and she started following a woman. He knew Stacey wanted a CS gas spray for self-defence but was unaware she had a can with her.

She disappeared from sight and he heard her scream and decided to leave the area quickly. But Miss Schneider caught up with him and dropped a handbag by him telling him to keep it.

"I picked it up and walked her to Cowley Road, I noticed a large police presence and hid it under my jacket," said Mr Williamson.

Asked by his lawyer, Barry Tetlow, why he picked the bag up, he replied: "I wish I knew, it was only in my possession for ten seconds." He said he was not involved in the robbery and took no part in the planning. The jury returned a not guilty verdict.

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