A police superintendent has been cleared of assaulting his wife after they argued about ’embarrassing’ messages she found on his phone.
Karl Wilson, of Northumbria Police, was accused of attacking his wife Helen last October at their home in Newcastle.
Mrs Wilson attended North Tyneside magistrates court for the day-long trial, but did not want to give evidence.
An allegation that he rugby tackled her to the ground and knelt on her chest was dismissed.
The court heard Mrs Wilson returned home on the evening of October 28 to find her husband intoxicated.
She looked at his phone out of concern about his faithfulness, and discovered messages which suggested ‘her fears were genuine’.
When Mr Wilson, 49, became aware of what she was doing, ‘there was a struggle inside the address over the mobile phone’, prosecutor Michael Bunch said.
‘She ultimately ran from the address, pursued by the defendant who, on the path outside, rugby tackled her to the floor.’
Mrs Wilson called the police but the call was terminated, and when 999 operators called back they heard a ‘series of screams’.
Mr Wilson said he was acting in self-defence and ‘in effect he put her in a bear hug until she calmed down’.
‘We had an argument about some of the messages on my phone, which were highly embarrassing messages, quite upsetting for Helen. Something I’m certainly not proud of.’
He admitted he had drunk three large glasses of wine, and was ‘drunk’ but recalled the whole incident.
District Judge Paul Currer cleared Mr Wilson of two assault charges and a criminal damage charge, relating to his wife’s phone, dress and necklace which were damaged during the conflict.
He said he was satisfied Mr Wilson struggled with his wife to grab his phone following a short ‘melee’ at the bottom of the stairs while he was being taken away.
Judge Currer added: ”It’s someone using their right to protect their own property.’
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