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Joey Barton faces new trial over allegation he assaulted his wife

Joey Barton faces a new criminal trial over the allegation he assaulted his wife and left her with a ‘golf ball-sized bruise’.

Barton has been accused of assaulting Georgia Barton in a drunken row outside their home in at their home in Kew, South West London, in June 2021, just two days before their second wedding anniversary. which he denied.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police confirmed the charges in a statement, which read: “Joseph Barton, of Widnes, Cheshire, is due to appear on bail on Monday, July 26, at Wimbledon magistrates’ court charged with assault by beating.

The Judicial Office Twitter account have published the 20 page ruling The DPP v Joseph Barton judgment which is available to read on the judiciary website…

“The charge relates to an incident which took place at a residential property in Kew on Wednesday, June 2 in which a woman received a head injury. London Ambulance Service did not attend.

“A 38-year-old man was arrested on June 2, bailed pending further enquiries, and subsequently charged.”

He had been due to face trial at a magistrates’ court in 2022, but the case was adjourned after Georgia retracted her claims.

In a judgment on Friday (7 June), two senior judges said following a 20-page ruling at the High Court that he should face a trial over the allegations in front of a different judge.

After the case had been adjourned, a judge ordered that proceedings be halted over concerns a trial would be unfair to Barton as prosecutors said they didn’t plan to ask Mrs Barton to give evidence in court.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Stephen Parkinson, appealed against the decision at the High Court in London, with barristers claiming at a hearing in May 2024 that a fair trial could go ahead.

Tom Little KC, representing the DPP, said in written submissions: “The appellant submits that the judge was wrong in principle in concluding that in refusing to call the complainant to give evidence, the prosecution was deliberately manipulating the trial process to deprive the defence of an opportunity to elicit evidence that undermined the prosecution case.

“The prosecution, consistent with its policy on prosecuting domestic abuse cases, had to strike a sensitive and careful balance between the expressed interests of Georgia Barton and the public interest in prosecuting cases of alleged domestic violence where there is sufficient evidence to prosecute notwithstanding that the complainant does not support, and does not wish to give evidence for, the prosecution.”

In court, Mr Little said: “A stay simply was not open to the judge on any view of the facts before him and the case should be returned to the magistrates’ court for trial.”

Simon Csoka KC said prosecutors made a “deliberate decision” to ask police not to speak to Mrs Barton about her evidence and that refusing to interview or call her as a witness was an “unfair tactic”.

He said: “The crown could have called Mrs Barton and the crown could have asked permission to treat her as a hostile witness but that is what might have been. It was not the decision that the crown made.”

In written submissions, he continued: “To paraphrase the inappropriate language in the application, the Crown Prosecution Service brought the administration of justice into disrepute by deploying unfair tactics and interfering with the clear duty of the officer in the case to investigate.

“The decision to issue a stay was a reasonable one, even if another judge may have decided it differently.”

On Friday (June 7) two senior judges ruled in the DPP’s favour with Dame Victoria Sharp saying the previous judge’s decision to drop the case “was wrong in principle”.

Barton, who was Bristol Rovers’ manager at the time of the alleged incident, has faced accusations of grabbing his wife by the throat and kicking her in the head during an argument outside their home, where they had been with two other couples.

He has always denied a charge of assault by beating after he was arrested by police at his home, with Georgia said to have had a golf ball-sized bruise on her forehead and a bloodied nose.

In March 2022, it was revealed in Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court that Mrs Barton had sent a letter to prosecutors a month before the trial, stating that she was accidentally injured when friends intervened in an argument between her and the other party, after consuming “four or five bottles of wine”.

Georgia didn’t support the prosecution and was not expected to testify during the trial due to concerns that she might provide false information.

Barton’s legal representatives argued that this situation would put Joey at a disadvantage since it prevented the opportunity to question her about any discrepancies in her testimony.

Dame Victoria said that the prosecution was solely required to summon witnesses who had given witness statements they intended to use, emphasising that it was not considered “an abuse of process” to omit calling Mrs Barton.

The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Saini, adds that Mrs Barton had never provided a witness statement and had also “expressed an unwillingness from the outset to give evidence against her husband”.

Dame Victoria concluded: “No prejudice could conceivably have been caused to Mr Barton if Mrs Barton had been called by the defence, or by the court for that matter.”

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