...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
Actor Stephen Tompkinson Acquitted of Assault: Career Impacted by Court Case
Stephen Tompkinson, known for his roles in TV shows like DCI Banks and Ballykissangel, has been cleared of assault causing grievous bodily harm (GBH).
Tompkinson, 57, denied punching a drunken stranger outside his house and maintained that it would be career suicide to engage in such behavior.
The actor expressed the impact of the court case on his career, stating that his acting opportunities had been put on hold, and he had lost work as a result.
The Defense: Proper Contact and Intent to Stop
During the trial at Newcastle Crown Court, Tompkinson explained that his long career in showbusiness, which often involved fight scenes, had ingrained a habit of not making proper contact.
He insisted that only his palm made contact with the alleged victim, Karl Poole, and with minimal force.
Tompkinson recounted the incident, emphasizing that his intention was to stop Mr. Poole and not to cause harm.
He denied applying excessive force that could have caused someone to fall over and claimed no responsibility for Mr. Poole’s injuries.
The Context: Drunken Encounter and Confrontation
The court heard that Mr. Poole and his friend Andrew Hall, after an all-night drinking session, were seen in their underpants and socks following a dip in the sea.
Tompkinson, awake at 5:30 am, noticed their disruptive behavior outside his house in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside.
Finding them drunk and disorderly, he called emergency services but confronted the men when they couldn’t continue their journey.
Tompkinson described the situation as frightening, with both men getting to their feet.
The Incident and Subsequent Actions
According to Tompkinson, Mr. Hall provocatively said, “Come on then,” prompting the actor to guide him down to all fours.
Tompkinson stated that he made contact with Mr. Poole’s face using his palm, and shortly after, observed him motionless on the ground.
When speaking to the police moments later, Tompkinson did not mention the manner in which Mr. Poole fell.
He relied on his knowledge of police dramas, believing he would have an opportunity later to provide a full explanation of the events.
Acquittal and Impact on Tompkinson
The jury ultimately accepted Tompkinson’s defense and acquitted him of the assault charge.
However, the actor expressed the adverse effects the court case had on his career, including work opportunities being put on hold and lost jobs.
Tompkinson emphasized that engaging in such an outrageous act of assault would be detrimental to his career.