Stephen Tompkinson says he’s ‘eating again’ after GBH charge gets dropped

Stephen Tompkinson has spoken out for the first time since being cleared of a grievous bodily harm charge last week.

The actor, known for his roles in shows DCI Banks, Wild at Heart and Ballykissangel, had been accused of punching a man named Karl Poole after finding him and a friend drinking outside of his home in the early hours of the morning in May 2021.

Tompkinson denied punching Poole and claimed that he’d only put his hand out to stop him advancing any further, which caused Poole to fall.

On Thursday 11 May, Tompkinson was cleared of the GBH charge after a jury deliberated for less than two hours.

During an appearance on Lorraine on Friday (19 May), the actor spoke about the ordeal for the first time since its conclusion and shared his gratitude about the case coming to an end.

Recalling hearing a commotion on his driveway in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, Tompkinson explained: “They were the definition of drunk and disorderly. Several other people on the street had heard the commotion. They were swigging from a full-size bottle of Jagermeister, which you don’t find next to the sherry or the port.”

Tompkinson, 57, then told presenter Lorraine Kelly that the interaction “turned nasty” when he went to tell the men to move on and inform them that he’d called the police.

“We’ve all been drunk, now and again. I just thought I’d ask them to move on, and show them that I’d called the police. But then they turned a bit nasty, they turned on me.”

Stephen Tompkinson (Getty Images)
Stephen Tompkinson (Getty Images)

After Poole fell and hit his head, the incident was officially investigated. A neighbour, who had been watching from afar, claimed to have seen Tompkinson punch Poole. “She saw me as the aggressor, which I wasn’t,” he said. “It had to be investigated. I’d thought it could have been investigated a lot sooner and dealt with there and then.”

Kelly congratulated Tompkinson on getting through the case, telling him: “You’re back, and you can put all this behind you.”

“I’m eating again, which is good,” he replied, before telling her that the verdict was decided in “less than an hour”.

“You have to wonder, was it worth bringing [forward] in the first place,” he said. “They were trying to prove a punch that never happened. There was no physical evidence on my hand on the guy’s face. He was just incredibly drunk, and he fell.”

From 12 June, Tompkinson will soon portray Samuel Beckett, the playwright, in Stumped at Hampstead Theatre.