Po­lice­man cleared of as­sault­ing his wife

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Nick Cullen

Mag­is­trates de­cide po­lice­man struck his wife in self defence

A FIREARMS of­fi­cer with Kent Po­lice wept in court as he was cleared of as­sault­ing his wife.

Mark Sanna, 38, was ac­cused of beat­ing his wife Michelle, also a po­lice of­fi­cer, in the kitchen in their home in Park Farm, Ash­ford, as the cou­ple’s two young chil­dren ate in the next room.

Mr Sanna broke down in tears as mag­is­trates de­liv­ered their ver­dict af­ter a three-day trial at Mar­gate Mag­is­trates Court.

In his defence, Mr Sanna con­tended that it was Mrs Sanna, a sergeant based at Ash­ford po­lice sta­tion, who had first threat­ened to kill him with a fry­ing pan and then punched him in the mouth.

He said he had slapped her to calm her down.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened on the evening of Au­gust 2 last year.

Of­fi­cers from Ash­ford po­lice sta­tion ar­rived at the cou­ple’s house af­ter they were called by Mrs Sanna’s friend Sally Sug­den.

Mrs Sanna had sent her a text mes­sage say­ing sim­ply ‘need help’. When Mrs Sug­den rang her friend, Mr Sanna an­swered.

Mrs Sanna claimed her hus­band had kept the phone from her, but he said this was not true.

The of­fi­cers ar­rested Mr Sanna and took him to Can­ter­bury po­lice sta­tion, where he spent the night.

Un­der cross-ex­am­i­na­tion from pros­e­cu­tion coun­sel Matthew Buck­land, he spoke of the hu­mil­i­a­tion he had felt at be­ing a po­lice­man in a po­lice cell.

In her ev­i­dence, Mrs Sanna claimed Mr Sanna had abused her ver­bally, slapped her twice in the face and grabbed her around the neck.

She said she had been afraid for her life and had punched him to free her­self.

Dur­ing the trial, it emerged that the cou­ple’s mar­riage had been in trou­ble and they had been liv­ing sep­a­rately.

Mr Sanna re­turned to the fam­ily home on Au­gust 1.

He said this was for fi­nan­cial rea­sons, but his wife claimed he had only told her he was com­ing to visit the chil­dren, and had not said he would stay at the house.

In her fi­nal ad­dress to the bench, defence coun­sel Caro­line Har­ris said: “There were two peo­ple in the kitchen.

“Can you be sure be­yond rea­son­able doubt that it is Mrs Sanna who is telling the truth?”

Chair­man of the bench Ian Chivers said: “We find that the events hap­pened as de­scribed by Mr Sanna.

“We are sat­is­fied that he was in fear of be­ing struck again.

“Mr Sanna, this has been a trou­bling sit­u­a­tion for you, and we hope you can put this be­hind you and get on with your ca­reer.”

Michelle Sanna

Mark Sanna, who has been cleared of as­sault­ing his wife in their home last year

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