Former Premier League star Joey Barton has pleaded not guilty to beating his wife and leaving her with a ‘golf ball-sized’ head injury just days before their wedding anniversary.
Barton, 38, of Widnes, Cheshire, is accused of attacking Georgia McNeil after a row at a friend’s house party in Kew, south-west London, on June 2.
The Bristol City manager appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court in south-west London on Monday via video link to deny the allegations.
He married his childhood sweetheart McNeil, 35, two years ago and attack is alleged to have taken place days before the couple marked their anniversary.
The court heard Barton allegedly grabbed her by the throat and kicked her in the head during an altercation outside the property, where they had been with two friends.
She was left with a bloody nose following the alleged attack and then called the police and asked for her husband to be removed from the property.
Joey Barton (left) will appear in court on Sunday for an alleged attack at the family home on his wife Georgia McNeil (second from left). Pictured: The couple at the Q Awards in 2011
The couple married two years ago and the alleged attack occurred days before anniversary
Barton allegedly became ‘quite angry’ while discussing a family-related matter, said prosecutor Nahiedh Khan.
‘He grabbed the throat of Mrs Barton, and this caused her to move backwards, falling to the floor.’
Barton allegedly kicked his wife to the right side of her temple ‘resulting in a half golf ball sized bruise on the right side of her temple,’ said Ms Khan.
The former footballer denies he was violent towards his wife and suggested she had been ‘drinking heavily’ and ‘exaggerated’ the incident, two days before their anniversary.
Mrs Barton had called police and asked her ‘intoxicated’ husband be removed from the property, but declined to make a police statement.
Mrs Khan told the court: ‘On 2 June at about 11.30pm in the evening, Mr Barton is with his wife Georgia Barton and they were talking to friends outside the property while they were having a small party together.
‘These two friends witnessed the incident and refused to provide further information other than what was seen in the body worn footage.’
She continued: ‘Mrs Barton suffered a half golf ball-sized bruise on the side of the head.
‘She can’t remember exactly what happened.’
Barton, who appeared via video link from his home, only spoke to confirm his name, date of birth, address and to enter his not guilty plea.
Richard Derby, defending, requested a case management hearing before the trial.
He said: ‘Categorically, this incident did not happen. There was no assault..’
Barton, of Widnes, Cheshire, was granted unconditional bail before a trial on December 16 at Wimbledon Magistrates Court.
A Metropolitan Police statement read: ‘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.’
Barton made 269 Premier League appearances for Manchester City, Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers and Burnley during his playing career. He was also capped once for England in February 2007.
The 38-year-old became manager of League One side Fleetwood Town in 2018 before taking over League Two club Bristol Rovers earlier this year.
Rovers released a short statement on Sunday indicating that officials were aware of the charge involving their manager.
It read: ‘The football club is aware of the court hearing involving Manager Joey Barton, scheduled to take place on Monday, 26th July.
‘As there are legal proceedings pending, the club is unable to make further comment at this current time.’