A former police inspector who stood to be South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has been found not guilty of assaulting his ex-wife.
Jack Clarkson, who became one of Sheffield’s first Ukip councillors and then the local party’s leader in May 2014, ‘suspended himself’ from his duties in the Stocksbridge and Upper Don ward in August.
Mr Clarkson was on trial at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court following allegations he had attacked Diane Clarkson in a row over a passport.
The couple’s 15-year marriage broke down last year but the pair had been living in the same house while the financial aspects of their divorce were finalised.
Ms Clarkson told the court she had taken Mr Clarkson’s new passport after she had found it in an envelope by the front door of the family home.
She said she knew he wanted to go on holiday but thought that if he went, it would drag out the divorce proceedings even more.
She told the court: “He kept saying we’d sort it out but he kept delaying.”
Referring to the incident, she said: “He lunged towards me, grabbed hold of me and pushed me down on the bed.”
Ms Clarkson also said he had put his arm across her throat. However, Mr Clarkson said he was acting in self defence and had fallen on top of his estranged wife as he tried stop her ‘thumping’ him, and she had held his arms against her to stop him getting up again.
Both parties had been drinking but were not drunk, the court heard.
Presiding magistrate Sybil Roach-Tennant said: “Ms Clarkson was evasive when questioned about anything that could undermine her account and about holding Mr Clarkson so he could not get off her. Her credibility was undermined when she lied to Mr Clarkson about not having his passport and trying to use it as a bargaining tool. We therefore cannot be satisfied that the assault took place. ”
Mr Clarkson worked for South Yorkshire Police in Sheffield, Rotherham, Ecclesfield, Deepcar, Hillsborough and Doncaster for more than 30 years. He retired as an inspector in Deepcar in 2006 and stood for Police and Crime Commissioner in 2014. He is the Mayor of Stocksbridge and a councillor for East Ward, Deepcar, on Stocksbridge Town Council. It is unknown if or when Mr Clarkson will resume his Sheffield Council duties.