A WITNESS in a child abuse trial claims that a Wantage man admitted to grabbing a young boy around the neck.

Miranda Day was given evidence at the trial of Daniel Lewis, which is being held at Oxford Crown Court.

He has been charged with six counts of wilfully assaulting a child and two counts of wilfully ill-treating a child.

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The 44-year-old is accused of smothering the boy with pillows, pushing him, digging his knuckles into his legs, slapping him, and gripping him around the neck.

He is also accused of cutting himself in front of the child. However, he has denied the offences and is now standing trial.

On Tuesday (May 14), Ms Day gave evidence for the prosecution, stating she had met Lewis at a local youth centre on a course about how adults could improve relationships with children.

She claimed that Lewis had admitted to her that he had hit the alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in this case.

Speaking to the jury, she said: “He said he had grabbed [the boy] around the neck…[because he was] swearing.

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“He said it was a mistake and he was trying to make it better.”

However, in cross-examination, Ms Day was accused of making up the admission from Lewis after reading an Oxford Mail article on earlier trial proceedings.

She admitted to reading a previous article last week and contacting the mother of the alleged victim and the police yesterday (Monday 13) to inform them she believed she could contribute to the trial.

But the barrister defending Lewis accused her of using the information in the article ‘to get back’ at Lewis.

She said: “This is the first time you had told police about this conversation with Mr Lewis where he admitted to grabbing [the boy’s] by the throat but police spoke to you in June 2022…but you didn’t mention that?”

Ms Day replied: “No I didn’t.”

Lewis’s barrister continued: “I’m going to suggest it’s because he never had that conversation with you. When you read that newspaper last Friday, did you see the perfect change to get back at [Lewis]?”

Ms Day replied: “Absolutely not.”

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Previously in the trial, the jury heard from the alleged victim who dubbed Lewis as the ‘most manipulative, horrible person’.

He said: “He was cruel. He was very clever and manipulative and knew what he was doing. He would do anything to provoke to me, he loved it.”

The trial continues with Lewis’s defence case expected to start this week.