luxury lifestyle manager who broke a woman’s leg in a bizarre attack outside a west London pub is facing jail.
James Stephenson, 37, stormed outside and shoved journalist May Woods to the ground as she was chatting and sharing a cigarette with his girlfriend.
He was heard to shout “what the f***are you doing” moments before the attack, which left Ms Woods on the ground in agony with her leg broken in two places.
The incident outside the Defector’s Weld pub in Shepherd’s Bush was caught on CCTV, showing Stephenson suddenly pushing Ms Woods, knocking over his own girlfriend Jo Hunt, and crashing to the ground himself.
In the chaotic aftermath, Stephenson, who had been drinking wine that evening, was punched by Ms Wood’s boyfriend Liam before he left the scene in an Uber.
He was arrested ten days later at his home in South Kensington after a police appeal to catch the attacker, and was convicted at Southwark crown court this week of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Stephenson was set free on bail after the guilty verdict, but could face a jail term when he is sentenced in January.
Stephenson, supported through the trial by his girlfriend and family, runs VIP lifestyle management firm Tatlocks, offering invitation-only membership to a “truly discreet service for discerning individuals all over the world”.
The court heard he and Ms Hunt had been celebrating a friend’s birthday at the pub when the incident happened, at around 2am on December 5 last year.
Ms Woods, a magazine editor, told the court how she had been watching her boyfriend’s DJ set and went outside for a cigarette, where she got talking to Ms Hunt. They were seen hugging and chatting amiably moments before Stephenson burst outside.
“I was slammed from the back, it was a huge surprise”, Ms Woods said, describing the moment she was attacked.
“From nowhere I remember someone coming behind me, and I remember feeling a whoosh, a good push – mad hard.”
She recalled screaming at Stephenson “what have you done? Why have you done this?” as her leg was paralysed in pain, but said he did not appear concerned and was more interested in claiming the incident was accidental.
“He didn’t say sorry, seem concerned or care”, she said.
The court heard how Ms Woods spent more than two hours laying on the rain-sodden ground covered in coats for warmth as she waited for an ambulance which never arrived.
After eventually realising paramedics were not coming, she had to take an Uber to hospital and needed surgery to repair the fractures to her tibia and fibula.
While in hospital, Ms Woods made public appeals for help catching the attacker, and complained that police had been slow to collect evidence including the crucial CCTV.
“Nothing has been done”, she said on Twitter. “Is this a normal timeline? Am I expecting too much – that male violence against a woman is actually investigated?”
Stephenson was identified as the attacker using payment records at the pub and arrested ten days later.
He claimed the push was accidental, when his foot slipped on rain water and buckled underneath him, causing him to crash out of the pub and put his arms out to protect himself.
Ms Woods broke down in tears when confronted with his denials in court, replying: “I didn’t see what his feet did – but looking at the CCTV shows what he did.”
Stephenson denied inflicting grievous bodily harm but was convicted after a three-day trial.
His sentencing hearing has been set for January 13.