Queen’s Olympic stunt double jailed for pushing girlfriend down stairs | UK news

A stuntman who acted as a double for the Queen during the London Olympics has been jailed for pushing his then girlfriend down the stairs.

Gary Connery, who parachuted into the 2012 opening ceremony dressed as the head of state as part of a skit, was convicted by a jury of grievous bodily harm in a case of domestic violence.

The 53-year-old was sentenced to 18 months in prison at Oxford crown court after the victim was left with a broken shoulder following a dispute at their home in October 2020.

Connery was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm without intent, but cleared by jurors last month of grievous bodily harm with intent.

As well as the shoulder injury, the victim suffered a cut to her head after the couple, who had been drinking alcohol, had an argument about who would turn off a light and shut a gate.

Judge Daly, who sentenced Connery on Tuesday, said: “It is clear that you had an argument late at night. You’d both been drinking and it is clear that you lost your temper.

“However she was behaving she did not deserve to be thrown downstairs. Throwing somebody down the stairs, as I am quite satisfied you did, can result in extremely serious injuries. In this case it resulted in injuries which were serious.”

Daly added that the fact the jury had acquitted Connery of the more serious charge of wounding with intent meant he would sentence the defendant on the basis he had pushed her downstairs but did not strike her head.

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The judge also said the domestic context of the incident was an “aggravating feature” as it left the victim vulnerable.

A restraining order that prevents Connery from contacting the victim indefinitely was also imposed.

A victim statement by Connery’s ex-girlfriend, read out to the court by the prosecutor Jonathan Stone, said: “The impact on every aspect of my life has been enormous.”

She said she felt unsafe to return to the house and became financially reliant on her parents. She added: “I just want Gary to take responsibility for what he’s done and for what he’s put us through as a family.”

She also said she had undergone surgery on a fracture to her upper humerus and was told she may need future operations.

Sarah O’Kane, defending, said Connery had no previous convictions and had been of good character before the offence.

During the London 2012 opening ceremony, audiences watched a short film of James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, walking into Buckingham Palace to pick up the Queen, who was sitting at her writing desk.

She greeted him with the words “Good evening, Mr Bond”, and the pair appeared to board a helicopter that flew across London to the Olympic Stadium.

Connery, as the Queen, parachuted to the ground alongside fellow skydiver Mark Sutton as 007, before the monarch appeared in the arena to take her seat to cheers and applause.