Actor Stephen Tompkinson, 56, arrives at court as he goes on trial accused of grievous bodily harm over ‘self-defence’ attack
- Stephen Tompkinson denies charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm
Actor Stephen Tompkinson has arrived at at Newcastle Crown Court today to face charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm in an incident that the TV star is expected to argue was self defence.
The 57-year-old, best known for playing the title role in TV crime drama DCI Banks denies that he ‘unlawfully and maliciously inflicted grievous bodily harm’ on a man named Karl Poole in a fight outside his home.
Poole was allegedly left with a double skull fracture and is understood to not remember much of the bust-up.
He has reportedly been left unable to work since the incident on May 30 2021.
Tompkinson, from North Tyneside became a household name after starring as Father Peter Clifford in 1996’s Ballykissangel, and in the same year appeared in hit film Brassed Off.
DCI Banks star Stephen Tompkinson pictured arriving at Newcastle Crown Court this morning
Tompkinson is expected to argue that the incident was ‘self defence’
Other notable TV credits include Drop The Dead Donkey, Wild At Heart, Minder, New Tricks, Grafters and Ted And Alice.
He also appeared in ITV’s DCI Banks for six years until the show was axed in 2016, and starred in a 2021 stage adaptation of Educating Rita.
His barrister Adam Birkby previously told the court he will claim self-defence, during a trial which is expected to last four days.
The actor could face a five-year prison term if he is found guilty.
Mr Birkby, defending the actor previously, said the case has attracted ‘substantial interest’, stressing the importance of Tompkinson’s right to a fair trial.
Mr Birkby added: ‘It is important for everyone to note, he has pleaded not guilty and the issue to be tried is one of self defence.’
Following his plea hearing in September last year, Tompkinson was granted conditional bail.
At the hearing, the actor confirmed he understood what had been said at the hearing and thanked the court at its conclusion.