JURORS in the trial of Leigh rugby league player Anthony Gelling have retired to consider their verdicts on a GBH charge.

The 30-year-old is accused of attacking his ex-partner Toni Mackey at their Widnes home after pleading not guilty.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how Gelling took "angry pills" before punching his wife in the face and leaving her with broken bones.

The incident is said to have occurred between the pair at their home on Cronton Lane Mews before his then club Warrington’s Super League game against St Helens on February 6 last year.

Gelling claims his partner tried to run him over during a domestic dispute and he lashed out.

Ms Mackey suffered a broken nose and fractured an eye socket – having also suffered a chipped tooth.

Prosecution barrister Kevin Slack told the jury that Gelling was often "full on and intense" on a matchday due to magnesium and zinc supplements which he took to ease joint pain – tablets which he had previously described as his angry pills.

The court heard that Ms Mackey got in her car to drive to Nando’s to get food when Gelling followed her out, stating that he needed to retrieve a pram from the boot so he could walk their baby to collect Ms Mackey’s older daughter from school.

Ms Mackey said that she would pick the child up from school and began to reverse out of the driveway, the trial heard.

However, he then went to the rear of the Hyundai and unsuccessfully attempted to access the boot before opening the driver’s side door, punching his wife once in the face, removing the keys from the ignition and throwing them at her, jurors were told.

The prosecution said that Ms Mackey attended Whiston Hospital in the early hours of February 7 due to the pain she was experiencing, and was found to have broken her nose and fractured an eye socket – having also suffered a chipped tooth.

She reported the incident to Cheshire Police the following day, and Gelling was arrested on February 9 after voluntarily attending a police station, the trial heard.

Mr Slack told the jury of six men and six women: “This was an unprovoked assault which inflicted grievous bodily harm on Ms Mackey.”

He added: “Rather than back away when he couldn’t get into the boot, the defendant went to open the car door – which the prosecution say was itself an aggressive act.

“Then, having opened the car door, it wasn’t a reasonable use of force to punch Ms Mackey in the face even if the defendant wanted her to stop the car.

“Quite simply, it was an act of aggression from a man who had lost his cool because his wife was not doing what he wanted her to do.”

During the trial on Friday, Gelling, who is represented by Martine Snowdon, stated his actions were in ‘self-defence’, explaining that otherwise he feared he would be run over by the car she was reversing.

He said: “The car lurched backwards and got my right leg knocking me off balance. I hopped onto my left leg and put my foot out and yelled, ‘Stop.’

“I just panicked, there was a lot of adrenaline. I punched her. I just wanted to stop the car. I thought I was going to be run over.”

Asked by Miss Snowdon if he wanted to hurt her, he said, “Not at all. I wasn’t angry at the time. I was angry after the incident and angry at myself.”

He said he offered to get her an ambulance or take her to the doctors, but she did not want to go.

He said: “When I saw her face I was shocked. I said, ‘I’m sorry’.”

The trial, before Judge Garrett Byrne, continues.