Actor Dan Wyllie has been found not guilty of assaulting his wife of six years after she tipped yoghurt over his head during an alleged ugly bust u
Actor Dan Wyllie has been found not guilty of assaulting his wife of six years after she tipped yoghurt over his head during an alleged ugly bust up at home.
The Love My Way and Offspring actor’s wife, director Shannon Murphy, had claimed that she feared for her life and thought she was going to die when he allegedly assaulted her on March 21, 2020.
But a Sydney magistrate on Tuesday found Ms Murphy had been ‘less than honest’ with her account of what happened that day – in a case that even dragged in Hollywood star Toni Collette as a celebrity witness.
In Ms Murphy’s version of events, the couple had enjoyed drinks with neighbours that night before heading back to their Woollahra flat, the magistrate said in a summary.
The ‘Mr Everywhere’ of Australian film and television, 50, then went to the spare room and refused to watch a movie with Ms Murphy, who then went into the kitchen to get yoghurt for dessert, Magistrate Greg Elks recalled.
But then ‘(Ms Murphy) admitted to tipping the yoghurt with flaxeed over his head,’ the judge said in his decision.
Charges dismissed: Australian actor Dan Wyllie (left) was found not guilty of assaulting his wife and the mother of his child, director Shannon Murphy (right)
Ms Murphy claimed that Wyllie was furious, told her ‘it’s over, you f***ing b***h’ and stormed into the bathroom, according to the magistrate’s summary of her claims.
Ms Murphy alleged she then went to reach for Wyllie’s phone to see what he was looking at and then claimed he threw her into the hallway.
Ms Murphy claimed that Wyllie pinned her against the wall, with an artwork behind her falling to the ground, according to the magistrate’s decision. She then accused him of hitting her from behind and of ‘raining’ up to 10 blows down on her.
At one point, she claimed to briefly black out. At another, she claimed her head was pushed to the floor so hard she felt her jaw was ‘going to snap’, the magistrate said.
But Wyllie had always denied his wife’s version of events, saying he had acted only in self-defence, the court heard.
And the court found in his favour, dismissing the assault charge, after his lawyer argued in closing submissions that Ms Murphy had in fact struck Wyllie in the head with her phone ‘five or six times’.
Defence lawyer Peggy Dwyer said Ms Murphy had neglected to mention that in her initial police statement, or the six further statements that followed.
A magistrate dismissed the charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Tuesday, saying he couldn’t find it beyond reasonable doubt, and saying his wife was ‘less than honest’ about what happened
Actress Toni Collette was dragged into the case, according to submissions before the court (above on Monday)
Ms Dwyer also argued a ‘fatal flaw’ in the prosecution case was that Wyllie had taken some time to shoot video and photos of himself after his wife poured yoghurt on his face. But Ms Dwyer said Ms Murphy had portrayed the assault as a continuing event – and did not mention a pause after the yoghurt was tipped on him.
‘Mr Wyllie is very calm – frustrated – (and) takes a video of himself still covered in yoghurt, having wiped it from his eye,’ Ms Dwyer said in submissions.
She also noted that Ms Murphy had admitted smacking Wyllie in the face five or six times with her mobile phone – but only in court.
In his decision, Magistrate Elks said he was also ‘unsettled’ by a revelation that Ms Murphy had told police at one point what she told them earlier wasn’t true.
‘A lie is a lie and that does cast a great pall over the complainant’s evidence,’ he said.
The police prosecutor described Ms Murphy as an ‘honest’ witness who ‘gave an open and frank concession’ to the court about striking Wyllie with the phone.
But the magistrate disagreed.
He described Ms Murphy ‘as an evasive witness who was prone to not answering questions that were asked’, instead giving ‘expansive’ answers that portrayed her in a better light.
‘She was not an impressive witness and I formed the opinion she had tailored her evidence to suit a scenario in which she had been the original aggressor,’ the magistrate said.
The magistrate said each police officer who saw her following the incident recorded that they had seeen no visible injuries to Ms Murphy, including to her jaw, which she had feared would ‘snap,’ he said.
‘The raining down of 10 blows by the defendant would have resulted, in my view, in significant injury.
‘Clearly in the photographs there is not significant injury,’ the magistrate found.
During submissions, Ms Dwyer said actress Toni Colette had been dragged into the proceedings, claiming Ms Murphy felt she had to ‘denigrate’ her, as Ms Dwyer claimed Ms Murphy had done with a witness who felt a lump on the back of Wyllie’s head.
Ms Dwyer said that Ms Murphy had suggested she had been bullied by the Academy Award nominated actress. ‘Ms Collette had nothing against Shannon (Murphy), nothing about Shannon she had a problem with’.
The assault occasioning actual bodily harm charge was dismissed, as was an application for an apprehended violence order.