A Cleveland Police officer has denied that he subjected his partner to a catalogue of assaults and controlling behaviour during their three year relationship.

Thomas Gair, 23, admitted being "moody, grumpy, awkward and hard work," but denied that he ever assaulted or mistreated his partner, who is also a serving Cleveland officer.

During evidence the alleged victim told how Gair pushed her down the stairs of their home when she was pregnant because he did not want the baby she was carrying.

She claimed he beat and bit her and ran her down in his car, knocking her unconscious.

She said he controlled every aspect of her life during the three years they were together between 2019 and 2022, including what she ate, who she saw, what they watched on TV and when she was allowed to go out.

Gair, who denies controlling and coercive behaviour, five assaults and stalking, said she was free to do as she chose throughout their relationship.

The Northern Echo: Thomas Gair, who denies all charges, said his partner was was free to do as she chose throughout their relationshipThomas Gair, who denies all charges, said his partner was was free to do as she chose throughout their relationship (Image: NORTH NEWS AND PICTURES)

Giving evidence at Durham Crown Court, he said he was the subject of an ongoing medical referral into possible autism and said he could be socially awkward.

Gair, of Middlesbrough, told jurors: "I am quite quiet, shy and I rather enjoy my own company. I think I have always been like that and tend to avoid social interactions when I can."

But he said he had never controlled his partner and had never assaulted her as she claimed.

He told the court: "We argued quite a lot, we'd argue sometimes over small issues but I never threatened to hurt her and I did not ever assault (her)."

Gair was asked by his barrister Alex Menary: "Would you lay hands on her during an argument?"

He replied: "(She) would get quite frustrated and angry herself and would reach a point where she was having a panic attack.

"She would be stressed and emotional and I would try to calm her down by hugging her and giving her reassurance."

He said he had told his partner that he wanted to commit suicide but it was never as a means of controlling her to do what he wanted.

He said: "It was down to the stress of the relationship and personal circumstances at the time."

The alleged victim had claimed that Gair reversed into her deliberately after he'd picked her up from a night out, knocking her out cold when she was hit by the open door of their car.

Gair said it was an accident, telling the court: "Upon pulling up at the house (she) got out of the car and I thought she had gone and proceeded to reverse. I was attempting to straighten up the car on the narrow driveway.

"I thought (she) had shut the door. I went back and heard a thud. I put the brake on and got out of the car and saw (her) there. I helped her into the house."

Her tumble downstairs was also an accident and not the result of a
push, he claimed. The Northern Echo: Thomas Gair said his partner's tumble downstairs was an accident and not the result of a pushThomas Gair said his partner's tumble downstairs was an accident and not the result of a push (Image: NORTH NEWS AND PICTURES)

Gair told the court: "I was in the bedroom and was planning on packing my bags to stay at my mam's house, it was due to the stress of finding out (she) was pregnant, I was trying to take it all in.

"I went to go downstairs and I saw (her) coming up the stairs. I did not push her.

"She got about half way towards me and tried to take a step back but her foot missed the stair and she fell. I immediately called an ambulance."

The alleged victim said he would mock her for being overweight and called her a "f***ing whale."

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He admitted sending her a message saying: "I wish I could keep it together as well as your belt does."

Gair said: "It was said in jest, I thought it was funny at the time but I don't now, I wish I hadn't joked like that if it made her feel uncomfortable.

"I did send her messages that were unpleasant and I regret that, I was stressed at the time I sent them."

He admitted that on occasion he had spoken to (her) in a "nasty manner" but that it wasn't a regular occurence.

The stalking charge arises from a claim that he continued to monitor his partnere's movements by watching her on the CCTV at the home they had shared after their relationship had ended.

He said he had changed the password for the CCTV system because he'd had a warning that an unknown party had tried to log in and not to lock her out of it.

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Gair admitted he'd watch the CCTV remotely but only to see their son.

He said: "It was to see him come out of the house on his way to nursery, it kept me going at a time when I was worried I might not see him again."

The trial continues.