JOEY Barton has arrived at court accused of attacking his wife two days before their wedding anniversary after downing four bottles of wine.
The Bristol Rovers boss allegedly left Georgia Barton, 35, with a lump the size of a “golf ball” after hitting her at home in Kew, South West London.
Barton, 40, was arrested after police found him asleep and “still intoxicated” in his bedroom, it is said.
The ex-Premier League star has arrived at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court where his assault by beating trial is continuing.
It was delayed twice after Georgia wrote a letter to prosecutors on February 17 in a bid to “exculpate” her husband.
The court was told she had phoned police on June 2 claiming Barton had hit her while in their home.
Prosecutor Helena Duong said the couple had got into a “drunken fight” following a row over “families”.
Georgia claimed she was “pushed down and kicked about” when police arrived and found her with a bloody nose.
She also showed officers a “lump the size of a golf ball” on her head and said she was “hit in the head by her husband”, it was said.
Barton, who denies assaulting Georgia, was detained and gave a “no comment” interview when quizzed by cops, it was said.
The court was told Georgia later sent a letter to the CPS on February 17 which is in “stark contrast” to her first account.
The letter explained the couple, who are still together, were having dinner with pals and had sunk up to five bottles of wine each.
Georgia suggested the injury was caused “accidentally” when friends intervened, the court heard.
Barton married his childhood sweetheart in a lavish ceremony in 2019 at a country house in Oxfordshire.
The couple have two children together – a son born in 2011 and a daughter born in 2014.
Barton started his football career with Manchester City in 2002 after going through their youth system and went on to make 150 appearances for the club.
He then moved to Newcastle United in a £5.8million transfer in July 2007 before leaving for Queens Park Rangers in August 2011.
The midfielder was then put on loan to French side Marseille during the 2012-13 season before making his way to Burnley for one season – helping promote them to the Premier League.
Barton made one appearance for England in 2007 – despite criticising some of his fellow players.
The footballer then began his management career with Fleetwood Town in June 2018 after a stint at Rangers.
He moved to current club Bristol Rovers in February last year.
Barton, of Widnes, Cheshire, denies assault by beating.