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‘Baron’s son attacked his wife and a police officer’
ARMED police were called to detain the son of a baron after he assaulted his BBC presenter wife and fought a policeman, a court heard.
Charles Gibson is alleged to have punched a police officer and resisted arrest – despite being restrained, pepper sprayed twice and hit with a baton.
The 45-year-old, whose full title is the Hon Edward Charles d’Olier Gibson, is the son of Edward Barry Greynville Gibson, fourth Baron Ashbourne.
Gibson, a former city financier and prominent business journalist who used to have a show on London’s LBC Radio, has been charged with assaulting his BBC World Service presenter wife Tanya Beckett and Pc Aaron Walker on June 8 this year.
He denies both charges.
Yesterday the officer told Oxford Magistrates’ Court that Gibson had made him fear for his well-being after he was thrown to the ground.
Pc Walker said he was called to the home the couple shared in Lewknor, near Watlington, in the early hours of the morning. Mrs Beckett reported Gibson had threatened her and grabbed her hair during a discussion on whether they should get a divorce.
The Pc said the couple had been drinking heavily and the police officer said that when he arrived, he discovered one of Gibson’s shotguns was un-accounted for.
The policeman told District Judge Tim Pattinson this led to a search of the house’s grounds and at around 2.30am the defendant’s car pulled into the driveway.
Pc Walker said Gibson ignored his instruction to stay where he was, so he tried to restrain him, which led to them “grappling” for 11 minutes.
The police officer said that even though he handcuffed one of his hands, the suspect threw him off his back like he was “nothing”.
He said: “Which considering I weigh 13-and-a-half stone, was quite impressive.
“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 have 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.
“At this point in my career, 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.
He said: “This was an ‘oh no’ moment on my part, because I have never come across a person I have not been able to physically overpower.”
Pc Walker said he grabbed Gibson again and was punched in the side and told: “I’m nobody and I do not have the power to arrest somebody like him.”
Armed support officers then arrived and took the defendant into custody, the officer added.
Edmund Gritt, defending, suggested to Pc Walker that his client had never said such words and the officer had failed to identify who he was.
The officer denied this. The trial continues on Monday, November 11.