A ST Helens doctors has been cleared of beating his nurse wife with a shoe after discovering she was conducting an affair with his friend.
Simon Stacey, a consultant physician at Royal Bolton Hospital, sobbed as he was found not guilty after a five-day trial.
Bolton Crown Court heard accusations he lashed out with a plimsoll during a violent row.
The incident was the culmination of years of physical abuse and bullying, the court was told.
But the jury cleared Mr Stacey, of Cavan Drive, Haydock, of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The 40-year-old doctor told the court his wife had sustained her injuries after falling down the stairs while drunk.
His barrister then alleged Mrs Stacey had made up the shoe allegation out of jealously because her estranged husband had a new girlfriend.
The allegations stem from a disturbace at the couple’s home on March 15, 2009, when they returned from a friend’s birthday party.
The court heard couple had been sleeping apart most nights for three years, but they began to row when the doctor refused to sleep on a camp bed downstairs. Mrs Stacey admitted throwing the plimsoll as they argued, smashing his glasses and cutting his eye.
The prosecution alleged her then picked up the shoe, chased after her, and battered her repeatedly as she lay cowering on the floor.
The jury was shown harrowing phots of Mrs Stacey’s bruises and they were also told about earlier ‘incidents’ between 2006 and 2009 where Mr Stacey had allegedly attacked her wife.
But the jury of five women and seven men took five hours to clear the consultant of the charge.
The court heard how the couple’s ‘turbulent’ marriage ended shortly after the incident, with both embarking on new relationships.
Mrs Stacey admitted having a four-month affair with a married man - Mr Stacey’s close friend Stephen Sherratt.
Mr Stacey learned about the fling after she accidentally sent a text meant for her new lover.
Giving evidence, Mr Sherratt, 42, a company director, admitted he had ‘betrayed’ his friend and had broken off the affair.
John O’Leary, defending, accused Mrs Stacey of telling ‘a complete and utter pack of lies’ and that she had made up the shoe assault after learning of her estranged husband’s own new relationship.
Judge Lesley Nield told Mr Stacey: “You may leave the court with your good character and reputation intact.”
He replied through tears, “Thank you”, and then looked at the jury.