The Duchess of Cambridge's uncle has been fined £5,000 and given a community order after admitting assaulting his wife in a drunken argument in which she accused him of taking drugs.
Gary Goldsmith, 52, knocked Julie-Ann Goldsmith to the ground outside their home in Wimpole Street, central London, at around 1.20am on 13 October this year.
He was sentenced at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to one count of assault by beating.
Sentencing him, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot described him as being a “nasty drunk”, adding: “You were making your way by taxi.
“Both had been drinking and the taxi driver listened as you argued. Your wife accused you of taking drugs and leaving her alone for most of the evening.
“You called her a nothing and whore.”
Goldsmith was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 20 sessions of a rehabilitation order requirement.
He was also fined £5,000 and ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge, and £85 towards prosecution costs.
Previously prosecutor Kate Shilton told the court Mrs Goldsmith was knocked to the ground after her husband threw what was described by their taxi driver, Daniel Shepherd, as a “left hook”.
In a victim impact statement, Mrs Goldsmith said she had been left feeling “extremely anxious and very stressed, and suffering panic attacks”.
The court heard that she has also lost her confidence, and only leaves the house to walk the dogs and to go to work and food shopping.
Mrs Goldsmith added: “This whole incident has caused me a lot of stress and anxiety and has made me feel very unwell and I do not know how much more hurt and upset I can take.”
Jane Humphryes QC, defending Goldsmith, said that in the lead up to the charity event, her client had been on a “charity diet”.
She explained: “The defendant and his wife, it seems to be agreed by both parties, were intoxicated at the time.
“The defendant himself had been on a six-week charity diet with limited food and no alcohol.”
She added that this meant the alcohol may have had more of an effect on him than it would otherwise have done.
The court heard the couple got into a heated argument because Mrs Goldsmith “felt she had been left alone during the course of the evening”.
Ms Humphryes said: “Mr Goldsmith accepts that, on reflection, he concentrated too much on business and too little on her.”
Goldsmith accepts that he lashed out at his wife in a “spontaneous” reaction to being struck.
Ms Humphryes told that at the police station, it was suggested that if Goldsmith admitted hitting his wife, he could be dealt with by way of a caution.
She continued: “Had it not been for his high profile, it would have been dealt with in that way.
“Had he been almost any other person in that police station out after a charity event, this never would have come, not just to the attention of the Crown Prosecution Service, but in this case, to the courts and to the media.”
The court heard that Goldsmith is “devoted” to his wife whom he loves “very much”, and hopes that they will be able to reconcile with the aid of joint counselling.
Ms Humphryes said: “He is deeply ashamed and concerned about not only his behaviour but also the implications of the adverse publicity for everyone concerned.”
At an earlier hearing Ms Shilton said: “The argument took place in the back of a taxi.
“They both got out of the taxi and he (Mr Shepherd) describes Mrs Goldsmith slapping her husband to the face.
“He then describes how Mr Goldsmith punches her hard in the face using a left hook.
“Mrs Goldsmith has then fallen backwards. He says 'She appears to be unconscious, she isn't moving'.”
Mrs Goldsmith was knocked to the ground, where she remained with her eyes closed for around 15 seconds before waking up and staggering to her feet, the court previously heard.
Goldsmith is the younger brother of the Duchess of Cambridge's mother, Carole Middleton, and attended the weddings of both Kate and her sister Pippa.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies