Former Premier League star, Joey Barton has pleaded not guilty to beating his wife and leaving her with a ‘golf ball-sized’ head injury.
Barton, 38, of Widnes, Cheshire, is accused of attacking Georgia McNeil after a row at a house party in Kew, south-west London, on June 2.
The ex-Newcastle star, who currently manages League Two side Bristol Rovers, appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court in southwest London on Monday via video link to deny the allegations.
The attack is alleged to have taken place days before the couple marked their anniversary.
Nahiedh Khan, prosecuting, 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.’