Stephen Tompkinson: when is trial of DCI Banks actor accused of GBH in Whitley Bay - charge and plea explained

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DCI Banks actor Stephen Tompkinson has entered a not guilty plea to a charge of GBH and will go on trial next year

Stephen Tompkinson will claim self-defence when he goes on trial charged with grievous bodily harm, a court has heard.

The actor, who lives in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, entered a clear “not guilty” plea to the charge during a brief hearing on Wednesday, which he attended via video-link.

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The 56-year-old, who is best known for playing the title role in TV crime drama DCI Banks, is due to go on trial at Newcastle Crown Court next year.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 08:  Stephen Tompkinson attends The Olivier Awards with Mastercard at Royal Albert Hall on April 8, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 08:  Stephen Tompkinson attends The Olivier Awards with Mastercard at Royal Albert Hall on April 8, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Stephen Tompkinson attends The Olivier Awards with Mastercard at Royal Albert Hall on April 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images) | Getty Images

What happened during the hearing?

Tompkinson is accused of “unlawfully and maliciously” inflicting grievous bodily harm on a man named Karl Poole on 30 May last year.

His barrister, Adam Birkby, was critical of some of the reporting of the case so far, claiming it has been inaccurate and even “salacious”.

Speaking over a link, he said: “It is very important for everyone to note, firstly he has pleaded not guilty and the issue to be tried is one of self-defence.”

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Judge Robert Adams set a trial date for 2 May next year, with an estimate that it will take four days.

A pre-trial review, which the defendant need not attend, will be held on 24 February.

Tompkinson was granted bail in the meantime.

Actor Stephen Tompkinson.Actor Stephen Tompkinson.
Actor Stephen Tompkinson. | PA

What TV shows has he appeared in?

He 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 as character Phil.

Other notable TV credits include Drop The Dead Donkey, Wild At Heart, Minder, New Tricks, Grafters and Ted And Alice.

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He also appeared in ITV’s DCI Banks for six years until the show was axed in 2016.

Tompkinson, who recently starred in a stage adaptation of Educating Rita as Frank Bryant, is due to feature in ITV drama The Long Shadow, about Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, later this year.