AN ANDOVER man has been found not guilty of assaulting his wife after being left "baffled" by the accusations.

Daniel James Saxton had been accused of planting a "forceful and unwanted kiss" on his then-wife, Araminta, after returning home from a night out.

Following a trial at Basingstoke Magistrates Court on Monday, he was found not guilty.

The alleged offence took place on August 17, 2019. The pair had been at a nightclub when Mr Saxton said another man insulted his wife, leading to a verbal fight and him being forced to leave.

Earlier in the night, Ms Crooks had been at a family dinner while Mr Saxton met a friend for "three or four pints", which he described as "standard" for him.

On returning home, he woke up Ms Crooks, who described him as being “excited, aggressive and angry". Mr Saxton denied this, saying he “wasn’t angry at all".

She said that he asked him to leave the bedroom to “relax” in the lounge, which he did. However, he returned shortly afterwards, where Ms Crooks said he “grabbed hold” of her.

She told the court that his hand “moved up around the back of [her] neck” and “pulled closer". She said that she was “very afraid,” and that Mr Saxton “didn’t release [her] until he had kissed [her]".

Mr Saxton said he was “a bit baffled” by the accusations. He said he returned to the room to "sort things out properly".

He said that he wanted to explain the incident at the nightclub, and that her not wanting him in the room made him think “something was wrong”. He told the court a goodnight kiss was a "normal part of their routine".

During cross examination, prosecutor David Fosler accused Saxton of having “paid no heed to Araminta when it was clear she wanted you gone,” which he denied.

Following evidence being given, the judge gave a verdict of not guilty, saying that while he believed that Mr Saxton knew that Ms Crooks didn’t want to be kissed, that this “was more or less this was at the time he was kissing her".

He said that the testimony given by Ms Small “confirms it was a tense situation and there was a row,” but following all the evidence presented to the court he was “left in a case of uncertainty".

Another factor in his decision was that he believed “there is a possibility of exaggeration by Araminta,” though said that there was “no suggestion of lying".