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Wife ‘petrified’ of leading brain surgeon, court hears

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St Vincent’s Hospital head of neurosurgery Dr Timothy Steel’s hearing continued on Monday at Downing Centre Local Court, which heard Emma Steel’s account of her terrifying ordeal in December 2019.

Dr Steel, who was suspended from practising after the allegations came to light in February, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault and property damage.

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Dr Steel (centre) denies the allegations. Picture: Damian ShawSource:News Corp Australia

Footage of a visibly shaken Ms Steel during her police interview in the aftermath of the incident was played before the court on Monday.

In the footage, she told police how Dr Steel, 56, allegedly punched, kicked and pulled out her hair extensions as they struggled over her mobile phone after she confronted him when he returned home drunk at 6am on December 14.

She claimed to police the phone contained pictures of injuries from previous instances of abuse, and Dr Steel attempted to destroy the evidence by submerging it in the pool of their sprawling Bellevue Hill home.

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Dr Steel (centre) leaves the Downing Centre on Monday. Picture: Damian ShawSource:News Corp Australia

In the video, Ms Steel said her husband of 11 years was drunk and refused to speak to her when he returned home following a party she also attended but left earlier in Double Bay.

The couple had planned lunch with friends at Rose Bay institution Catalina later that day, and Ms Steel allegedly tried to rouse her husband.

“He didn’t speak to me, and I felt he was unable to speak,” she said to police in the footage.

“I said, ‘Where did you go last night?’”

She told police she said, “I know where you were”, when Dr Steel suddenly “jumped up” and began wrestling his wife for her phone, the court heard.

“He grabbed my hair, pulled my hair, ripped out my extensions,” she said in the footage.

“He kicks me, he’s pushing me. I was calling out for help.”

The hearing continues.

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