Husband cleared of assaulting former Halifax MP

Stephen Roberts
Stephen Roberts

The husband of former Halifax MP Linda Riordan has been cleared of assaulting her.

Stephen Roberts, 54, heard his wife testify against him at Leeds Magistrates Court yesterday, as he faced charges of assault by beating and criminal damage.

Former Halifax MP Linda Riordan

Former Halifax MP Linda Riordan

Mrs Riordan described the incident where her husband, from whom she is now separated, was alleged to have attacked her as they drove home from a night out with Mrs Riordan’s cousin and her family.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, Mrs Riordan told the court that as the couple travelled down Bradford Old Road in Brighouse on the evening of March 30, a “discussion” about a family matter arose which led to Mr Roberts striking her in the eye as he drove, damaging her glasses.

It was then claimed that, with the car still in motion, Mr Roberts “punched and kicked” his wife around ten times on the legs, face and shoulder.

Mrs Riordan said: “I have never been so frightened in my life. The first blow was so heavy and intense I really thought we’d had a car accident. It (the alleged attack) carried on while the car was still moving. I was bruised from my ankle all the way up to my shoulder.

In his defence, Mr Roberts told the court that as the couple had left to go home his wife had been drunk and that she “became hysterical” over the course of their journey home. It was then said that as he drove she’d leant across from the passenger seat, started to hit him and then insulted his daughter. He said: “My elbow did connect with her eye. Unfortunately that happened. I was trying to fend her off and retain control of the car.”

Mr Roberts admitted making contact with her another two times but denied causing further injuries to her limbs.

Concluding the case, Judge David Kitson said he was not satisfied that the case had been proved and dismissed the charges.