Duchess’s uncle knocked wife unconscious with left hook
THE uncle of the Duchess of Cambridge has admitted hitting his wife in the face and knocking her to the ground after a drunken argument on their way home from a charity event.
Gary Goldsmith, 52, struck his wife, Julie-ann, outside their home in Marylebone, central London.
A taxi driver who had taken the pair home described how Mrs Goldsmith fell to the floor after her husband threw a “left hook” at her. Goldsmith – who attended the wedding of Catherine and William, the Duke and Duchess, in 2011 – pleaded guilty at Westminster magistrates’ court yesterday to one count of assault by beating. He has been banned from returning home and is likely to be made the subject of a restraining order preventing him from going near his estranged wife.
Kate Shilton, prosecuting, told the court how Daniel Shepherd, the taxi driver, had witnessed the attack on Oct 13 this year. She said: “He [Mr Shepherd] describes Mrs Goldsmith slapping her husband to the face. He then describes how Mr Goldsmith punches her hard in the face using a left hook. Mrs Goldsmith has then fallen backwards. He says: ‘She appears to be unconscious. She isn’t moving’.”
After being knocked to the ground, Mrs Goldsmith, 47, lay with her eyes closed for around 15 seconds before regaining consciousness and staggering to her feet crying, the court heard. After the incident, Goldsmith was described as “panicked and walking in and out of the house, trying to get her to go back in the house”. Mrs Goldsmith then asked Mr Shepherd to call the police. Goldsmith told officers he had pushed his wife hard with his left hand, but denied throwing a punch. Appearing in court, Goldsmith spoke to confirm his personal details before entering his plea. Shortly before the incident, the couple had posted pictures of themselves smiling at a charity auction for the Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Foundation at Home House, a private members’ club in central London.
The court heard that Goldsmith, the younger brother of the Duchess’s mother, Carole Middleton, was apologetic for his actions and was described by police as humbled by what he had done. He will be sentenced next Tuesday.
Emma Arbuthnot, the chief magistrate, said: “I am excluding custody and looking at a community order. But I am really looking at how to protect this lady from this man. There may be alcohol issues I don’t know. They were both very drunk.”
The court heard that prosecutors are to apply for a restraining order. Goldsmith was granted bail, with the conditions he does not contact his wife, or visit their address.
His behaviour and sometimes colourful lifestyle have proved to be embarrassing for the royal family on more than one occasion.
He was the subject of an exposé by The News of the World in 2009, in which he was shown apparently preparing cocaine at his villa Maison de Bang Bang in Ibiza and boasting of his connections with the Royal family. He was never charged with any offence.
Mr Goldsmith made his fortune from sports management and IT recruitment and was at one stage estimated to be worth £30million.
Gary Goldsmith at Westminster magistrates’ court yesterday, above, and with his wife, Julie-ann, far left. Left, Goldsmith’s niece, the Duchess of Cambridge