High Court judge ‘beat wife in row over missing meal’

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A HIGH Court judge allegedly attacked his wife in a rage after she had spent 90 minutes consoling their distraught cleaner, leaving him without an evening meal, a court heard yesterday.

James Allen QC, 61, is said to have beaten his wife Melanie, an assistant deputy coroner, at their home in Woolley, Wakefield, following a heated row over his wife’s priorities. He has pleaded not guilty to assault and is on trial.

Mr Allen said he had returned home hungry from a holiday in Scotland and was annoyed when the couple’s cleaner Amanda Clarke unexpectedly arrived to talk to his wife about her mother, who had been diagnosed with cancer.

David Holderness, prosecuting, told the court on a previous day of the hearing that police had been called to the couple's home on February 20 last year after a 999 call had been made by an eight-year-old child at the house.

On a tape played to the court the child can be heard telling the operator that Allen was “trying to kill” Mrs Allen.

The couple can be heard arguing during the 999 call, and a female voice, identified as Mrs Allen, can be heard saying: “Look at me, look at what you have done to me, you stupid man.”

A man identified as Allen replies: “I haven't done anything.”

Mrs Allen then said: “Yes you have, you did all of that to me.”

Allen replied: “I have not done that.” She said: “You have done all of this to me, you stupid idiot.”

Allen replied: “Tell the police all the lies you want.”

Giving evidence Allen told Bradford Magistrates Court his wife's injuries were caused after she punched herself in the face three times during the argument at their home. Allen claimed his wife had a history of self-harm, and had been admitted to Pinderfields Hospital after cutting her left wrist in the past.

Mrs Allen also gave evidence yesterday, appearing as a witness for the defence, stating she hit the sides of her head with her clenched fists out of frustration.