Fitness model cleared of assault after claiming self-defense
Mark Reynolds broke the nose of a city insurance broker over a dispute in February 2017. An Old Bailey jury acquitted him of assault after citing self-defense
A fitness model who broke the nose of a drunken city insurance broker who laughed at him for having “little man syndrome” has been cleared of the assault.
Mark Reynolds, 31, claimed he was acting in self-defense when he hit Jonathan Opie in Cornhill, City of London, after being allegedly insulted in February last year.
The accused was quickly acquitted by the jury which returned a unanimous verdict.
The personal trainer, from Brentford, who had just left a client’s event to network and had been drinking vodka and pineapple juice, ran into Jonathan Opie and had a heated exchange with him on the sidewalk, Old Bailey jurors said.
BMS group broker Opie had been drinking while celebrating a birthday at the Swingers Crazy Golf Bar in town and heading to Bank Station with his wife Alice Hicks, brother Mark Opie and Mark’s girlfriend Victoria Livingstone.
Reynolds claimed Jonathan Opie blocked his way around 11:55 p.m. before telling him “come home, you have little man syndrome”, and when Reynolds tried to leave, the drunk broker stopped him and gave him a shot. said “what if I don’t let you go?” the court heard.
The fitness model, who boasted of being the youngest Englishman to ever achieve a black belt in karate at age 12, told Old Bailey that Opie then ‘went for it’ and therefore had had to strike the broker’s jaw in self-defense. .
Testifying, Reynolds said he saw the group coming up behind him on the sidewalk and waved them through.
He said: “The group was just jovial and clearly pretty drunk. I remember one of the women saying ‘thank you’. ‘
“But Jonathan brushed past me and said ‘what kind of guy gives in and then gets in your way? “
BMS group broker Jonathan Opie had been drinking while celebrating a birthday at the Swingers Crazy Golf Bar in town and heading to Bank Station with his wife Alice Hicks. Pictured: Jon Opie and Alice Hicks
Jonathan Opie (pictured with his wife) and had a heated exchange with Mark Reynolds, Old Bailey jurors have said
“I just shrugged my shoulders and let them pass while I tried to make a phone call.
“I didn’t feel any animosity towards them, but I was walking faster than them and caught up with them pretty quickly.
“Then I tried to walk past them, and Jonathan, who seemed to be looking over his shoulder, bumped into me.
“It was pretty insignificant and I thought he was a little drunk, so I didn’t react to it.
“But then he said ‘oh, look, it’s Mr. Small Man Syndrome again. “
“I just thought it was a little weird because I had barely spoken to the guy. I felt intimidated, I felt like he was a drunk guy making his own.
“So I responded by saying ‘what are you talking about? I’m just trying to get home. “
“He then made contact with my shoulder as I was about to leave and stopped me from leaving.
‘Jonathan said “what if I don’t let you go” and walked over to my face.
“I felt like he was going to attack me. At that point, I was completely surrounded so I instinctively hit him on the jaw.
“The way he insulted and goaded and kicked me – I felt in danger and didn’t want to be attacked.
I never made the informed decision to harm Mr. Opie, it was entirely in self-defense
“I never made the informed decision to harm Mr. Opie, it was entirely in self-defense.”
The court heard how Jonathan’s wife Alice, who admitted to eating at least six margaritas that night, then pushed Reynolds against the wall and tried to touch his face with her hands.
Prosecutor Richard Reynolds, unrelated to the accused, claims the accused assaulted Opie.
The prosecutor said: “Some kind of joke was made that he didn’t give in, and soon after, the accused passed them again.
“Mr. Opie said something like this about this man with ‘little man syndrome’.
“The accused then punched Mr. Opie in the face and broke his nose.
“Bouncers from a local club stepped in, then the police arrived.”
Victoria Livingstone and Mark Opie (pictured) witnessed the incident
Jonathan Opie’s brother Mark – and his girlfriend Victoria Livingstone – both testified, saying it was difficult to know what was said as memories of the events were ‘hazy’.
Mark Opie told the jury that his brother said something like “go home, you have little man syndrome”.
“My brother was walking backwards for not seeing the accused right away,” Mark said.
“The accused was just trying to get over it and a joke was told that he was not doing a good job.
“The second time around he passed my brother again, but I think my brother started to kill him as well.
“I was surprised to hear my brother say ‘do you have little man’s syndrome? “
Mark Reynolds, of Boston Park Road, Brentford, denies the assault causing actual bodily harm, saying the whole incident was in self-defense.