A POLICE detective has told a court he pushed his wife, which led to her falling and sustaining injuries, because he feared she would attack him.

Dorset Police detective constable David Alway is accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm to Tamsyn Alway, who suffered injuries to her head, shoulder, and hand at their home in Bournemouth in the early hours on December 14, 2019.

The trial at Southampton Crown Court has heard that the couple had been married for five years but had separated earlier in June 2019.

They were still living in the same house but sleeping in separate bedrooms.

Giving evidence, the 41-year-old said his wife had punched him during a previous row in July of that year that had started after he confronted her after looking at her phone and finding out she was seeing someone else.

He said: “Tamsyn doesn’t say a word to me, just walks out of the bathroom and punches me in the face.

“It was certainly hard enough to cause me pain and turn back in shock and made me jolt my head backwards.

“My instant reaction is ‘I do not want to be hit again’, I felt the attack was completely unprovoked so I pushed her away.”

He said he then held her against the wall in a bid to “calm the situation down”.

Alway said the argument in December arose after he had returned from a work Christmas party and a conversation about the divorce turned into an argument.

Mrs Alway told the defendant he had not made an effort in their marriage. The officer said this comment made him "annoyed and upset".

He admitted slamming her bedroom door before the row continued in the kitchen, where he said she became angry as she looked for their dogs which he had just let out into the garden.

On the door slamming, he told the court: "She's annoyed me, she's goaded me and you could say I have fallen for it and slammed the door."

Asked about the situation when the incident moved downstairs, Alway, who previously lived in Bath, said: “She is very irate about where are the dogs, I can clearly hear her saying she hates me, she wants to kill me, I am feeling very threatened at this point.

“My instant reaction from where she walked up to me because of the previous incident is to put my hands up and push her away.”

He continued: “I did not push her with my full force, there is no point pushing her extremely lightly as it wouldn’t achieve what I wanted, so I pushed her fairly hard with what I thought would get her to step away from me.

“Tamsyn stumbled backwards, then she had fallen towards the edge of the patio.

“I have heard a crying pain, she has got up fairly immediately, I took from that it wasn’t a serious injury. I didn’t want the situation to escalate, so I have left.”

Put to him that his wife gave a different account of events, he said: “I do not think she wants to be spiteful but I think she is confused about what happened, it all happened so quickly, she has taken a bump to the head and can’t remember very well.

“The circumstances were that I was concerned she was just about to assault me so I reacted by pushing her away.”

In cross examination, prosecutor Paul Fairley told Alway that his wife said during the July incident there had been "pushing and shoving" before he grabbed her by the throat.

The defendant denied this, stating there was a punch from Mrs Alway and then he pushed her.

In relation to the December incident, Mr Fairley said the way the complainant described it to the court earlier in the trial, Alway lost his temper for the second time in their relationship and pushed her in the back.

Alway, who described himself as a "private" person, said: "In July she was the one that just punched me for no reason.

"In December, I felt that was going to happen again and that is the reason why I have pushed her."

Alway, of Poole, denies the charge and the trial continues.