Police chief cleared of wife attack at home
A SENIOR police officer was cleared of drunkenly assaulting his wife after they argued over messages she found on his phone.
Chief Supt Karl Wilson was acquitted of attacking Helen at home in Great Park, Newcastle. She had dialled 999 during the bust-up and police went to their house, a court heard.
Mr Wilson, 49, the £90,000-a-year head of Northumbria Police’s control room, had faced two allegations of assault and a further charge of criminal damage.
His wife refused to give evidence and the North Tyneside Magistrates Court case was reduced to one count of assault that was allegedly witnessed by two junior officers.
District Judge Paul Currer cleared Mr Wilson, calling the fracas over the phone “a melee. I don’t think he took hold of her at all and for that reason this case is not proven.”
Mr Wilson, who was suspended after the incident, admitted being drunk having had three large glasses of wine.
He said: “We had an argument regarding messages on that phone which were highly embarrassing, quite upsetting for Helen, something I’m certainly not proud of, (so) that I wanted to get my phone.”
Michael Bunch, for the prosecution, earlier told the court Mrs Wilson returned home to find her husband “intoxicated”. She looked at his phone amid concerns about his “faithfulness”.
He added that a 999 operator heard “a series of screams” from Mrs Wilson. Mr Bunch said she suffered bruises to her left hand, forearm and right wrist.
Police bodycam footage showed Mr Wilson being led towards his front door, not in handcuffs, and him trying to grab his phone when his wife dropped it.
During a struggle in which Mrs Wilson also tried to get the phone, PC Craig Brown restrained the senior officer and footage recorded him yelling “Don’t grab her” twice.
PC Brown and colleague PC Nathan Collins told the court that they had seen Mr Wilson get hold of his wife’s wrist – the substance of the assault allegation.
Steven Reed, defending, told the court that the two officers were mistaken about seeing Mr Wilson grab his wife’s wrist, but if he had done so he was merely trying to take back his own property.