The trial of North East actor Stephen Tompkinson, on a contested charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm, remains listed to take place at court in May.

Stockton-born Mr Tompkinson, best known for starring as Inspector Alan Banks in ITV crime series DCI Banks, denied the charge when he appeared via video link at a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court, last September.

The charge alleges he unlawfully and maliciously inflicted grievous bodily harm on another man, on Sunday, May 30, in 2021.

It is understood it arose from a confrontation outside an address in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, where the actor was living at the time.

Read more: Stockton's Stephen Tompkinson denies GBH after incident in Whitley Bay

The plea hearing was told the defendant is to claim self-defence at trial.

It was agreed that a trial would be expected to last up to five days, but it was hoped that it would conclude in four days or less.

The start date has been set for Tuesday May 2, to be heard by The Recorder of Newcastle, Judge Paul Sloan.

A pre-trial hearing took place before Judge Sloan at the court today (Friday February 24), but, by prior agreement, Mr Tomkinson was not required to attend.

The judge asked for a joint report by medical experts for both the defence and prosecution, indicating areas of agreement and disagreement, to be uploaded to the court by March 23.

Other evidential submissions were also made by Jolyon Perks, prosecuting counsel, and his defence counterpart, Adam Birkby.

Read more: Actor Stephen Tompkinson will claim self-defence at GBH trial, court told

The judge adjourned for trial starting on May 2 and added that he hoped it could be concluded in a “window of three days”, even with expert evidence heard.

At a previous listing of the case, Mr Birkby, told Judge Robert Adams, who was presiding over the hearing that day, that, “for obvious reasons”, the case had attracted media interest.

He then said: “Some of the reporting has been inaccurate and, at worst, somewhat salacious.

“I don’t suggest, and would never suggest, the press should be told what to write.

“But, it’s important to note he’s pleaded not guilty and the issue is one of self-defence.”

Judge Adams said the media, “must be careful in reporting this to ensure what is said is accurate and in no way prejudices a fair trial.”

The now 57-year-old defendant, of Whitley Bay, has remained on bail throughout proceedings, which began before magistrates in Newcastle, in August last year, when Mr Tompkinson also indicated a not guilty plea, prior to the plea hearing at the crown court, in September.

Mr Tompkinson became a household name after starring as Father Peter Clifford in the tv drama Ballykissangel, in 1996.

Read next:

               Actor Stephen Tompkinson in court on GBH charge

               DCI Banks star Stephen Tompkinson to appear in court charged with inflicting GBH

               DCI Banks star Stephen Tompkinson of Whitley Bay charged with inflicting GBH

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In the same year, he appeared as ‘Phil’ in the hit film Brassed Off.

Other notable tv credits include the comedy tv series Drop The Dead Donkey, and other tv dramas Wild At Heart, Minder, New Tricks, Grafters, plus Ted And Alice.

He played the role of DCI Banks for six years, until the show was axed in 2016.