Saturday, 25 May 2019

Financier ‘attacked wife and policeman’

THE son of a Baron attacked his BBC presenter wife and a police officer who tried to restrain him with

THE son of a Baron attacked his BBC presenter wife and a police officer who tried to restrain him with pepper spray after they rowed about getting a divorce, a court heard.

Charles Gibson, a former city financier, is accused of punching Pc Aaron Walker after he had sprayed him with pepper spray and hit him repeatedly with a baton.

Earlier, the 45-year-old had allegedly assaulted his wife Tanya Beckett, a presenter on BBC World Service, Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard.

Gibson, whose full title is the Hon Edward Charles d’Olier Gibson, denies assaulting Mrs Beckett and Pc Walker at the couple’s home in Lewknor, near Watlington.

Mrs Beckett called the police after her husband allegedly threatened her and grabbed her hair during a discussion about getting a divorce.

Pc Walker said that when arrived in the early hours of June 8 the couple had been drinking heavily and one of Gibson’s shotguns was unaccounted for so a search was begun.

At about 2.30am Gibson’s car pulled into the driveway. Gibson ignored his order to stay where he was so he tried to restrain him, which led to them grappling for 11 minutes.

Pc Walker said that although he handcuffed one of Gibson’s hands, the defendant easily threw him off his back, adding: “which, considering I weigh 13-and-a-half stone, was quite impressive.”

The officer said he feared for his well-being.

He said: “At some point, he has taken a swing at me, which I moved to avoid. He said to me, ‘you’re not arresting me, I’m going home’.

“I then reached for my capacitor [pepper spray] and sprayed it directly into Mr Gibson’s eyes. He stood there, wiped it from his eyes and called me a coward. That is the first time I have ever had a capacitor fail on me.”

The officer said he then drew his baton and hit Gibson as hard as he could, three times on his shins, which also had no effect.

The court heard armed support officers called in as back-up arrived and took Gibson into custody.

Edmund Gritt, defending, suggested Gibson had never said these words and that the officer had not identified himself. Pc Walker denied this.

The trial was adjourned until Monday.

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