Woman denies attack on crime writer at Sunderland talk

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A WOMAN has denied attacking crime writer Val McDermid as she signed books at the University of Sunderland.

The award-winning author was taking part in a meet-and-greet, following a public lecture at the Murray Library on December 6.

Sandra Botham, from Hendon in Sunderland, was arrested following the alleged assault.

It was claimed that ink was thrown over the 57-year-old Scottish author.

Botham, 64, appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court yesterday, and pleaded not guilty to common assault.

The trial, which is expected to take two days and could hear from up to 13 witnesses, including Val McDermid, will begin on July 8.

Botham, of Ridley Terrace, was granted unconditional bail until the hearing.