Stephen Tompkinson trial judge warns jury put emotions aside before verdict

Stephen Tompkinson trial judge warns jury put emotions aside before verdict

The judge in actor Stephen Tompkinson's assault trial has told the jury to put aside their emotions and feelings in the case before they consider the verdict.

DCI Banks star Stephen, 57, has denied inflicting grievous bodily harm on another man, Karl Poole, 48, who was allegedly drunk outside of the actor's house in the early hours of the morning on Sunday, May 30, 2021.

The court heard Tompkinson tell the jury that his career was in their hands, as he said he had not worked since the case started.

On Wednesday, judge Paul Sloan, Recorder of Newcastle, said: "This case may well give rise to a state of feelings and emotions and perhaps anger and indignation because of the state of Mr Poole and Mr Hall on the morning in question.

"Perhaps you have sympathy for Mr Poole or for the defendant himself because of the predicament he finds himself in having to deal with two drunks outside his house early that Sunday morning.

"Such feelings and emotions do not assist now in deciding the case and must play no part in any discussion as to whether the allegation made in this particular case has been proven."

Karl and a friend, Andrew Hall, had a confrontation with Tompkinson outside his home at 5.30am on May 30, 2021.

The court heard that Karl and Andrew were said to be lying on the pavement in a drunken state outside the house in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside.

Tompkinson claimed that he acted in self defence against Karl, who was left with "traumatic brain injuries" after he fell to the ground and cracked his head during the confrontation.

A neighbour told the jury that she had watched from her bedroom around 100 metres away, and claimed Stephen "slapped the gentleman without the top who was just in his boxer shorts with his right hand and then he punched him to the head with his left".

Prosecutor Michael Bunch alleged the actor was "playing a part" during the giving of his evidence, claiming: "He has elaborated on his story as time has gone on – he has given details which were not given earlier."

Defending, Nicholas Lumley, KC, claimed scientific evidence showed Karl's injuries were consistent with him being pushed, rather than punched as he had claimed.

Mr Lumley told the court that Karl had no injuries to his face, which would have been caused by a punch.

He said: "A push could cause a drunken man to fall, of course it would.

"He did not attempt to break his fall because of the state he was in. That is why Mr Tompkinson said it was not his doing.

"It is another way of saying I did not fill him in drink, I did not bring him to my door, I suddenly thought it was going to get ugly – it would not have led to a hospital trip if they were not as they were.

"The head injury was a completely unintended consequence of Stephen Tompkinson defending his property. That is the fair application of a fair law – of course a person can defend themselves and their property within reason.

"So long as we are reasonable, we can act to protect ourselves. What had he to gain from doing this vindictively? He had everything to lose. There may be hell raisers in show business, people who trade on it, but not him.

"He has served a profession he loves, from gently bewildered priest of the 1990s to the present day, an actor sought out because of his calmness, that opinion of him went entirely unchallenged, and yet the prosecution seeks to say now, he must have lost his temper.

"What possible motive would he have to throw his reputation for that pair? He has never conducted himself in the way the prosecution alleges in 57 years. He is acting royalty. We suggest whatever he did, he did in self defence, no more than any of us would have done.

"They were the unintended consequences of a rapid coming together of a sober and a drunk and that does not make Stephen Tompkinson a criminal.

"It is what makes him innocent."

The trial continues.

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