UK

Eddie Kidd's Estranged Wife Jailed For Attack On Former Stunt Rider

01/08/2013 16:19 BST | Updated 01/08/2013 16:29 BST

The estranged wife of paralysed former motorbike stunt rider Eddie Kidd has been jailed for five months after she admitted assaulting him.

Samantha Kidd, 44, pleaded guilty to four counts of assault by beating of the 54-year-old wheelchair-bound star days before she was due to face a two-day trial last month.

samantha kidd

Today Brighton Magistrates' Court heard that unemployed Kidd tried to throttle him, slapped him on the the face and chest, kicked him, and called him a "f****** spastic".

Prosecutor Suzanne Soros said that on one occasion Kidd, who was paralysed and brain-damaged when a stunt went wrong in August 1996, was left shaking and "absolutely hysterical" by her actions.

Kidd, of High Street, Seaford, East Sussex, dressed in a floral dress, showed no emotion as district judge William Ashworth sentenced her to five months prison, concurrent on each count, and imposed a restraining order.

As she entered court, Kidd covered herself with an umbrella as she was ushered in by several burly minders.

Opening the prosecution case, Ms Soros said: "The Crown says this was a course of conduct against a man who is suffering with severe disability."

In one incident, Kidd rained a series of blows on him after she was woken up, according to a witness.

Kidd told him: "For f***'s sake, Eddie. How do you expect me to sleep?"

Ms Soros said Kidd continued with "a barrage of abuse and swearing" before launching a quick succession of half a dozen blows to his face and head.

The witness said in a statement that Kidd had appeared to have "lost the plot" and had to be forced off him.

Ms Soros said that by his demeanour, Eddie Kidd appeared to be "shaken up" by the incident.

She added: "He was completely unable to defend himself from the attack from Sam or take any action to protect his face or head."

On another occasion, Ms Soros said Kidd kicked Mr Kidd in retaliation after a carer had difficulty helping him out of a car and into a wheelchair.

She also slapped his chest and called him a "f***ing spastic", a remark she claimed was what he referred to himself as, the court was told.

Ms Soros said: "The slap was described by the witness as being very aggressive to Mr Kidd's chest."

In a separate incident, the court heard Kidd slapped Mr Kidd's face in "retaliation and frustration" at his hand coming off a rail and coming into contact with her.

Ms Soros said: "In hindsight, she accepts that her view of that had been distorted by her stress and alcohol consumption at the time."

On another occasion, a witness heard Mr Kidd call out to them, and found Kidd with her hands round the front of his throat.

The witness yelled out: "What the f*** do you think you're doing?", the court heard.

A struggle ensued and Kidd had to be forced to let go of her estranged husband who was "absolutely hysterical", Ms Soros said.

Alissa Scott-Beckett, defending, said Kidd had no intention of rekindling a relationship with the former stunt rider.

However, she said she would like them to be friends in the future, and that Mr Kidd had sent her text messages asking to meet up, which she had resisted.

eddie kidd

Ms Scott-Beckett said Mr Kidd had suffered a "serious deterioration" in his physical state, leading Kidd to binge drinking.

She added: "She found herself still loving Mr Kidd but not being able to mentally cope with the stresses that the relationship had.

"She found herself in a coping strategy of excessive alcohol consumption. That is now thankfully under control but that is the way she felt she was able to cope with the situation."

Ms Scott-Beckett said the situation had been brought about by the "circumstances of the relationship" and Kidd's inability to cope.

She went on, saying that Kidd - who has no previous convictions - herself had been a victim in what was a "volatile and difficult" relationship but that she accepted responsibility for the offences.

Since she had entered her pleas, Kidd has been abused and assaulted in the street which had exacerbated mental health concerns, Ms Scott-Beckett said.

She added: "Mrs Kidd has suffered from considerable mental anguish. She apologises profusely to any mental stress this has caused him."

After sentence was passed, Ms Scott-Beckett asked for Kidd to be freed on bail pending the outcome of an appeal.

But district judge Ashworth said: "I have agonised about this sentence and bail is not appropriate."

The judge said Kidd had committed an "abuse of trust and power".

And he said: "These four assaults on Eddie Kidd represent a pattern of violent behaviour towards your husband which, taken together, are in the highest bracket for sentencing guidelines because your husband was particularly vulnerable and due to the repeated assaults on a disabled person."

He added: "Whatever you felt about his disability, you didn't shy away from raining six punches on him or slapping, kicking and throttling him so much that you had to be pulled off him."

samantha kidd

Eddie and Samantha Kidd in happier times

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity Scope, said: "This is a horrible case of domestic violence.

"But Eddie Kidd's impairment and the sickening insults mean this is about disability too. In 2013 nobody should experience physical and verbal abuse because of their disability.

"Sadly, crime against disabled people continues to be an issue - from the few extreme, violent cases that make the headlines to the countless examples we hear of disabled people experiencing abuse and hostility as they go about their lives.

"There is still much to do. We have to give disabled people the confidence to come forward.

"This will only happen when their concerns are taken seriously and properly reported, and when the criminal justice system ensures that disabled people are properly supported from investigation to trial crimes.

"At the same time, local authorities, housing providers and the local community all have to show leadership on this issue.

"We have to take a stand about bad attitudes towards disabled people.

"Despite the feel-good factor of the Paralympics, we know that attitudes towards disabled people - particularly those that claim benefits - are hardening.

"We know, if unchallenged, low-level incidents can often escalate into more serious crimes."

Following the case, Sussex Police said domestic violence is never tolerated, regardless of whether it involves a man or a woman.

Detective Constable Jamie Pooley said: "I am delighted with this sentence for Kidd, who admitted assaulting her husband between July and October last year.

"This was a very sensitive matter but I am particularly pleased that she has been brought to justice and she did admit her guilt.

"I would like to thank everyone who came forward and helped to support police action in this case.

"This is unacceptable behaviour and we never tolerate domestic violence of any kind whether it be against a man or a woman."