Leading TV actor Stephen Tompkinson has broken his silence after facing trial for causing grievous bodily harm (GBH).
Tompkinson, famed for appearances in shows like Ballykissangel, DCI Banks and Wild at Heart, was found not guilty by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court on May 11. He had been accused of punching Karl Poole in the head after finding him and a friend drinking at the bottom of his Whitley Bay driveway in the early hours of May 30 2021.
Mr Poole fell to the ground and broke his skull when his head hit the pavement, Newcastle Crown Court was told. Prosecutors claimed Tompkinson “snapped” and “lashed out” at Mr Poole in “disgust” at his behaviour.
But after deliberations, a jury found the actor not guilty, and as he left court in Newcastle he told members of the media: “I just want to go home.”
Mr Poole, who was very drunk and was wearing only underpants after a dip in the sea in Whitley Bay in May 2021, ended up falling and banging his head on the ground, suffering a fractured skull and traumatic brain injuries.
Jurors heard Tompkinson came out of his house on Beech Grove at around 5.30am, wearing pyjamas and a dressing gown, to challenge Mr Poole and his friend Andrew Hall, who were both “heavily intoxicated”. Giving evidence earlier this week, Tompkinson said he did not punch Mr Poole, did not intend to hurt him and denied being responsible for his injuries.
The 57-year-old told the court he put his hand out to stop Mr Poole coming towards him and made contact with his face but that it “wasn’t enough to knock a sober man off his feet”.
Tompkinson is now free to start his planned tour of new play Stumped, which will see him star as playwright Samuel Beckett. The first performance is set to take place in less than two weeks.
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