A MAN was hit in the face by a stranger while walking through Reading after assuming he’d been mistaken for someone else.

James Walker was heading down Brook Street West on January 19 when a man started following him, asking if he ‘had things to give’ him.

When Mr Walker apologised and said he must have him mistaken, the man hit him in the face.

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Martin Bite, 23, is now on trial charged with one count of attempted burglary.

However, Bite denies the allegations and claims he has been wrongly identified.

At the start of the trial on Wednesday (November 8), Mr Walker gave evidence about the incident which occurred at about 1.30pm.

He said: “I was walking in the middle of the road…and I saw someone sat on the pavement with their back against the wall.

“I walked past and at the point he shouted something out at me. It was something like, ‘Oi mate, have you got my things?’ or ‘You got some things?’

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“I continued to look forward and walk. I presumed he most have had me mistaken for someone else. I could sense him very quickly approaching me from behind and he got in front of me.

“He got very close to me and into my personal space and repeated, ‘Got me things?’ I said, ‘Sorry mate I don’t have anything’.

“He just looked at me and then I felt something very sharp at the side of my face, I thought I had been hit by a rock.”

Mr Walker said the man was ‘staring’ at him ‘intensely’ and assumed it had been him who had struck him.

He then pushed the man away. and ran off after thinking the man had a weapon.

“He undid his zip and was looking right at me,” said Mr Walker. “He said, ‘Wait right there mate’ and I concluded that he was going for a weapon.”

He phoned the police immediately and described the man as a ‘white male, 5”10, blond hair, slim build, and wearing dark clothing’.

He later picked out Bite from an identity parade. When asked if he could have made a mistake, Mr Walker said: “Anything is possible but when I picked him I was very, very confident it was the right person.”

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Bite, of Kendrick Road, Reading, states he has been wrongly identified. He points out that in CCTV footage of the incident, the man is smoking which Bite denies that he does.

The trial continues