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Chief Superintendent on trial after he “drunkenly rugby tackled wife”

The Northumbria officer is currently on trial for assault and criminal damage.

A Northumbria Chief Superintendent is on trial for two counts of assaulting his wife, and one count of criminal damage to her dress, necklace and phone.

North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told he drunkenly rugby tackled her to the ground after she looked at his mobile phone amid concerns about his faithfulness.

Karl Wilson denies the charges.

Michael Bunch, prosecuting, said the context was a “domestic incident” at the family home in Newcastle, on October 28.

He said Mrs Wilson had returned home to find her husband “intoxicated”.

She looked at her husband’s phone amid concerns about his “faithfulness”, adding that she saw messages which suggested “her fears were genuine”.

“There was a struggle inside the address over the mobile phone,” Mr Bunch said.

“She ultimately ran from the address, pursued by the defendant who, on the path outside, rugby tackled her to the floor.”

The prosecution case outlined that Wilson knelt on her chest while trying to recover his phone. That lasted for around 15 seconds and after her husband loosened his grip, Mrs Wilson was able to get back in the house and see her dress had been torn and her necklace damaged.

Back inside the property, the defendant took hold of her again, Mr Bunch continued, and “put her to the floor” as they again struggled over his phone.

She reportedly rang the police and could be heard in a hoarse voice to say “domestic” before the call was terminated. 

A police operator called her back and “a series of screams” could be heard from Mrs Wilson, Mr Bunch said.

Chief Supt Wilson then grabbed the phone and threw it to the floor, causing criminal damage, District Judge Paul Currer was told.

Police arrived and while they attended, he saw his wife was still holding a phone and made a bid to grab it, which represented the second of the two assault charges, the court heard.

Mr Bunch said Chief Supt Wilson later said he was acting in self-defence while she remonstrated with him and “in effect he put her in a bear-hug until she calmed down”.

The prosecution outlined that Mrs Wilson attended court but did not wish to give evidence – and they would not seek to compel her to.

The case continues.

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Ongoing court case

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