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Winehouse "deliberately punched" woman

 British singer Amy Winehouse arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in central London July 23, 2009. Winehouse arrived at a London court on Thursday to face a charge of assaulting a woman after a charity ball last year. REUTERS/Toby Melville - Reuters
British singer Amy Winehouse arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in central London July 23, 2009. Winehouse arrived at a London court on Thursday to face a charge of assaulting a woman after a charity ball last year. REUTERS/Toby Melville
— image credit: Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - British singer Amy Winehouse deliberately punched a woman after a ball last September, a London court heard on Thursday.

Alleged victim Sherene Flash told the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court that she had politely asked the Grammy-winning star for a photograph.

Prosecuting lawyer Lyall Thompson said Winehouse hit out when a friend of Flash, who was drunk, tried to get into the picture.

"It may be that it was that that annoyed Miss Winehouse," Lyall told the court, according to the Press Association.

"Miss Winehouse may have felt she had generously agreed to be photographed on her own and not with a drunken stranger."

But he added: "This was a deliberate assault by Miss Winehouse. There was nothing accidental about Miss Winehouse's actions."

Flash said Winehouse had "punched forcefully in my right eye," adding that she was shocked and began to cry. "She looked drunk. She looked maybe like she was on drugs or something."

A lawyer for Winehouse, who denies the charge of assault, said the 25-year-old pushed Flash away when she put her arm around her.

"What happened is this," Patrick Gibbs said. "You wanted to be in a photo with Miss Winehouse. When she said 'I am coming back in two minutes' time', you weren't prepared to wait.

"You put your arm around her and she pushed you away, and she must have caught you on the side of your eye."

The singer won five Grammy awards in 2008 and her album "Back to Black" won widespread critical acclaim. But her private life, including a battle against drug addiction, has overshadowed her recording success.

In March, Winehouse was unable to get a U.S. work visa to perform at April's Coachella festival in California because of the assault charge. Earlier this month, she ended her two-year marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil.

(Writing by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Steve Addison)

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