Joey Barton's trial for 'assaulting wife' delayed after she writes letter defending him

18 March 2022, 15:52 | Updated: 18 March 2022, 16:02

Joey Barton arriving at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on Friday
Joey Barton arriving at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on Friday. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Joey Barton's trial for allegedly assaulting his wife during a drunken row has been delayed after she wrote a letter to prosecutors in a bid to "exculpate" her husband, a court has heard.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The former Premier League footballer's barrister Simon Csoka QC said Georgia Barton now claims she was injured accidentally when friends intervened in the argument with her husband after drinking "four or five bottles of wine each".

The 39-year-old Bristol Rovers manager was due to stand trial at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court, in south-west London, on Friday for a single count of assault by beating.

He is alleged to have grabbed his wife by the throat and kicked her in the head during a row outside their home in Kew, south-west London, where they had been with two other couples on June 2 last year.

Mrs Barton, who is said to have been left with a golf-ball sized bruise on her forehead and a bleeding nose, called police but was not due to be called as a prosecution witness.

However, the court heard she had sent a letter to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on February 17, followed up with two emails, which had only been seen by prosecutor Helena Duong on Friday morning.

Joey Barton has been the manager for Bristol Rovers since February 2021
Joey Barton has been the manager for Bristol Rovers since February 2021. Picture: Alamy

"Mr Barton is married to the alleged victim in this case and they continue to be in a relationship," said Ms Duong.

"The Crown does not propose to call her.

"She has given an account some eight months after the incident and, in the Crown's submission, it is plainly an attempt to exculpate her husband."

Mr Csoka said there were two other couples present at the house and each of those present had been drinking "about four or five bottles of wine each".

"What she is suggesting is the injury was caused accidentally when friends intervened in the argument," he said.

District Judge Andrew Sweet adjourned the case to June 23.

Read more: Eco activist locks himself to football goalpost in Premier League protest

Read more: Chelsea back down after asking for Middlesbrough FA Cup tie to be behind closed doors

Ms Duong earlier said Barton's wife called police just before 11.15pm and said "she had just been hit in her house by her husband and she asks police officers to attend urgently".

When officers arrived "she says she had got into a drunken fight, a disagreement about families, with her husband, and she had been pushed down and kicked", the barrister continued.

"Mr Barton is still asleep upstairs when police arrive and he is arrested. The Crown's case is he was still intoxicated at that point."

The court heard Barton gave a no comment interview and the prosecutor added: "The issue in this case is that Mr Barton denies assaulting his wife at all."

Barton, a former midfielder, played for teams including Manchester City, Newcastle, Queen's Park Rangers and Marseille during his playing career as well as making one appearance for England in 2007.

He started his management career with Fleetwood Town from 2018 to 2021 before joining League Two side Bristol Rovers last year.

Barton appeared in the dock wearing a black sweater, jeans, black shoes and glasses, and spoke to confirm his name, address in Widnes, Cheshire and date of birth.

He was released on unconditional bail.