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