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Police to interview Hawking on assault claim

Detectives said yesterday that they were preparing to interview Stephen Hawking after he was discharged from the hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia.

Professor Hawking, 62, returned to his home in Cambridge for the first time since allegations were made public that he has suffered a series of assaults at the hands of his second wife, Elaine, his former nurse. The physicist, who along with his wife strongly denies the claims, left Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge on Saturday night after six weeks of treatment for a bout of pneumonia related to the motor neurone disease which confines him to a wheelchair.

Police confirmed last month they were investigating Professor Hawking's domestic life after a former nurse, part of a team which provides him with 24-hour care, alleged he had suffered injuries ranging from sunstroke to a broken wrist.

A police spokesman said yesterday: "We will be making contact with a view to speaking to him about the on-going investigation."

It is expected that the interview will only take place when the academic, whose writing on quantum physics has made him a personal fortune estimated at £10m, has fully recovered from his illness. He will convalesce at his luxury home close to the centre of Cambridge.

Professor Hawking, who married Elaine, 53, nine years ago, has said he will co-operate with the police inquiry.