Former Lytham St. Anne’s resident and St Bede’s Roman Catholic High School student, Stephen Tompkinson has today (Thursday 11th May) been found not guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm on a man he confronted for drunkenly making noise outside his house.
The 57-year-old DCI Banks actor stood trial at Newcastle Crown Court accused of punching Karl Poole in the head after finding him and a friend drinking at the bottom of his driveway in the early hours of 30th May, 2021.
Mr Poole fell to the ground and broke his skull when his head hit the pavement, Newcastle Crown Court was told.
Mr Tompkinson denied punching Mr Poole and said he was not responsible for the double skull fracture he sustained. The actor, who was living with his partner and her seven-year-old son at the time, said he came out of his house in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, at around 5.30 am after hearing strange noises. Mr Tompkinson told the court that he dialled 999 after seeing the pair try to stand up and fall several times while drinking from a bottle of Jägermeister.
Whilst waiting to be connected, Mr Tompkinson went outside wearing pyjamas and a dressing gown and told the men he was calling the Police.
Mr Tompkinson told the court the two heavily intoxicated men ‘took great objection to me complaining about them being there’ and had started to move towards him. Consequently, he put his hand out to stop Mr Poole from coming any further. He told the Court, ‘I didn’t want to hurt him, I wanted to stop him to change his mind about coming towards me and further onto my property.’ He agreed that he made contact with Mr Poole’s face but that this ‘wasn’t enough to knock a sober man off his feet’, adding that he would be ‘career suicide to do something as outrageous as assault someone’.
Mr Poole fell to the ground and broke his skull when his head hit the pavement.
Mr Tompkinson told the court he has lost acting work since being charged and any association with him in the industry was ‘on hold’ while the legal proceedings were hanging over him.
The writer Andy Hamilton, and actors Hayley Mills and Nichola McAuliffe were among those giving witness statements for the star.
The jury at Newcastle Crown Court cleared Mr Tompkinson after a four-day trial. The actor was asked for his reaction to the verdict outside the court, to which he said: “I just want to go home.’