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Wife who accused her surgeon husband of assault 'made phone threat'

"Reta Frame" (2020-07-24)

A housewife who wrongly accused her neurosurgeon husband of assault allegedly threatened a secretary with whom she claimed he was having an affair after all charges against him were dismissed. 

Onetime model Emma Steel allegedly rang Angie Turner, who gave sworn evidence she had never had an affair with Dr Timothy Steel, on Thursday afternoon. 

The alleged call came within hours of Dr Steel being cleared of punching, slapping and kicking his wife at the couple's home in Sydney's eastern suburbs late last year.  

A source said Mrs Steel told Ms Turner words to the effect of, 'I know you f***ed my husband.

Watch your back.'

A New South Wales Police Force spokesman confirmed officers were investigating the alleged phone call.

'About 3.30pm yesterday, a 35-year-old woman reported a threatening phone call to officers from Kings Cross Police Area Command,' the spokesman said. 'Inquiries are continuing.'

Emma Steel, who wrongly accused her neurosurgeon husband Dr Timothy Steel, of assault allegedly rang a secretary she claimed had an affair with him after all criminal charges were dismissed by a magistrate.

Mrs Steel is pictured at a Christmas function in 2014

A source said Mrs Steel called medical secretary Angie Turner (pictured) on Thursday afternoon and said words to the effect of, 'I know you f***ed my husband.

Watch your back.' A NSW Police Force spokesman confirmed officers were investigating the allegation

Mrs Steel had accused Dr Timothy Steel (pictured) of punching, slapping and kicking her in the couple's sprawling home at Bellevue in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

Dr Steel is pictured outside Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday after all charges were dismissed against him

Daily Mail Australia put the words alleged to have been said in the phone call to Mrs Steel's solicitor but has not received a response. 

Mrs Steel had accused Dr Steel of having sex with Ms Turner at a Christmas party the night before the couple had a domestic dispute in their Bellevue Hill mansion.

Dr Steel categorically denied ever having an affair with the secretary - or anyone else - during his 11-year marriage to Mrs Steel.

On Thursday Mrs Steel's evidence about domestic and financial abuse was rejected by magistrate Vivien Swain, who found inconsistencies in her evidence.   

Dr Steel had faced charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault and damaging property, all of which were dismissed. 


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The 56-year-old surgeon told Downing Centre Local Court that on December 13 he had organised a Christmas party at Woolloomooloo's Ovolo hotel for 50 to 60 guests. 

Among those invited were friends, colleagues, nurses, radiographers, theatre staff and employees including Ms Turner and practice manager Stephanie Jobson. 

Dr Steel said that morning his 41-year-old wife had been in a bad mood and while in the shower she had thrown a wet fake tanning mitt across the bathroom at him.

'I hate you,' Mrs Steel allegedly said.

'Why don't you just leave. Get out.'

Dr Steel said he performed surgery that day and then attended the Ovolo hotel where he had paid for drinks and canapes to be served from 6 to 9pm. 

When police arrived at Dr Steel and Mrs Steel's home (pictured) he immediately said he had acted in self-defence.

'My wife came into the room and started hitting me,' Dr Steel said

Mrs Steel arrived at the gathering with the couple's children, sat in an area separate from the main party and stayed about an hour and a half.

'She was aggressive, angry and hostile to me,' Dr Steel told the court.

'She would not speak to me and she told me to stay away.

'She did not come anywhere near me. She was rude to my staff.'

Dr Steel said he left the party, which had run much later than planned, shortly after his wife tried to call Ms Turner about 4.20am. 

He had been sound asleep, face down in bed, when his wife woke him up by scratching his back and head about 8.45am. 

'I was awoken by severe pain in my back and behind my ears,' Dr Steel told the court.

'I was hit about three or four times.'

Dr Steel said his wife screamed at him with accusations he had been having an affair with Ms Turner. 

He said she told him: 'You're a f***ing disgrace.
It's disgusting. You've been with Angie. 

Video emerged of Mrs Steel nagging Dr Steel about money (pictured).

'You drip feed me,' she says to her husband in the footage tendered to court. '$24,000 a month!' Dr Steel replies. Mrs Steel then says, 'Big deal. You're on six million or four million dollars a year, Tim'

Dr Steel said it was his wife who had assaulted him and he sustained deep scratches to his head, back and arms (left) when Mrs Steel dug her nails into him.

He now has permanently scarring on his back. Injuries from an alleged domestic dispute in 2017 are pictured right

'You were having sex with Angie. I had a private investigator following you. I've got everything I need.'

Mrs Steel had claimed it was Dr Steel who assaulted her with a punch to the head and stomach and a slap to the face. 

She also accused him of pinning her down and ripping her hair extensions out.

After the incident Dr Steel had run downstairs and jumped in the pool while holding his wife's phone.  Mrs Steel then called police.

She claimed in court she 'knew' Dr Steel had been having an affair with Ms Turner but could not provide any evidence.

'I've seen text messages between the two of them and I'd heard conversations between them,' Mrs Steel said. 

Dr Steel said his wife screamed at him with accusations he had been having an affair with his secretary Angie Turner (pictured left).

His practice manager Stephanie Jobson is pictured right. Both women denied ever having a sexual relationship with Dr Steel 

Ms Turner, who was called to give evidence in the defence case, said she had never had anything other than a professional relationship with Dr Steel.

She had worked for Dr Steel as a medical secretary for two years but no longer did and any suggestion she had an affair with him was 'ridiculous'.

After the Christmas party she had been in a hotel room with Dr Steel and Ms Jobson, drinking chardonnay ordered from room service.

Dr Steele had paid for the room because Ms Turner lived in Cronulla and Ms Jobson lived in Wollongong, south of Sydney.

Ms Turner was surprised Mrs Steel had tried to call her at 4.09am and again at 4.19am.

'I just said to him, "I think you need to go",' she said of Dr Steele.

'He seemed frightened.

He seemed very concerned to go home and face Emma because they had been fighting all night.

'I think she told him to f*** off at one stage.'

Dr Steel's practice manager Stephanie Jobson (pictured) was asked if she had ever had an affair with her boss.

'Absolutely not,' Ms Jobson said. Magistrate Vivien Swain found there was no evidence Dr Steel had ever had an affair with anyone

Ms Jobson was also asked is he had ever had an affair with Dr Steel.

'Absolutely not,' she said.

Ms Swain found there was no evidence Dr Steel had ever had an affair with anyone. 

Dr Steel's solicitor, Paul McGirr, had described Mrs Steel as a witness of 'very little credit' and an 'unhinged person' who made up allegations against her husband.

'I relation to her, she will make up anything to suit herself,' Mr McGirr said. 

'The catalyst for all this is money.

She was treating Dr Steel like a walking ATM.

'Dr Steel was the victim of her vicious attacks. Poor old Dr Steel is the one getting his reputation sullied. 

'Emma Steel is a woman who is playing the system and playing the victim.'

The former model's 19-year-old son from an earlier marriage to jockey Shane Dye gave evidence against Mrs Steel, describing his mother's obsession with money.

Jack Dye said his mother regularly complained Dr Steel did not give her enough funds, despite being paid an allowance for personal and household expenses of up to $24,000 a month. 

After four days of evidence Downing Centre Local Court magistrate Vivien Swain found on Thursday there were inconsistencies in Mrs Steel's (pictured) evidence and dismissed all charges against her husband

Jack Dye told Downing Centre Local Court his mother Emma Steel had regularly complained his stepfather did not give her enough money despite being given an allowance of at least $24,000 a month.

He is pictured leaving the family home on Thursday

As well as making allegations of domestic violence, Mrs Steel had suggested her husband had cut up a lacy red pair of her underwear.

Mr McGirr referred to the evidence of psychiatrist Dr Olav Nielssen, who Dr Steel had consulted in 2017 about troubles in his marriage. 

Mr Nielssen, who had known Dr Steel since 1988, described him as 'not an impulsive or aggressive person at all' and 'one of the most unlikely people to be irrationally violent.'

Mrs Steel, in Dr Nielssen's professional opinion, had a 'pretty narcissistic and unempathetic personality'.

From the time police arrived at the Steel family home Dr Steel maintained he had only acted in self defence and Ms Swain found nothing to disprove that.

Any injuries Mrs Steel sustained were the result of Dr Steel protecting himself against an attack by his wife.

Dr Steel said he was only mildly intoxicated when he came home early one morning last year after his work Christmas party.

He and Mrs Steel pictured together in November 2005 

Dr Steel, who was cleared of assault allegations made by his wife, told Downing Centre Local Court how he woke to find his wife attacking him in the couple's Bellevue Hills home the morning after a work Christmas party

'I am satisfied that there is a reasonable possibility that the accused believed his conduct was necessary in order to defend himself,' Ms Swain said.

'I am satisfied that the way in which the scuffle occurred and the injuries that were occasioned to the complainant, that that was a reasonable response in the circumstances as the accused perceived them.'

Dr Steel said after the incident with his wife he had gone downstairs and jumped into the pool because he was in so much pain. 

'When I was being attacked and scratched the whole top half of my body...

was burning and so I was looking for something to calm it down and put the fire out, as such,' he said. 

He believed the phone he had in his hands was his and knew it was water-resistant for 30 minutes. 

Dr Steel said he had been sound asleep, face down in bed, when his wife woke him up by scratching his back and head at their home (pictured).  Dr Steel had then run downstairs and jumped in the pool of their family home (pictured) while holding his wife's phone

Mrs Steel said red scratch marks across her husband's body shown in photographs tendered to the court were inflicted as she tried to defend herself. 

Dr Steel described a troubled marriage and alleged his wife had previously attacked him.

'She is regularly aggressive,' he said.

'Regularly confrontational and regularly demanding. 

'When she is confronted by difficulties her behaviour deteriorates. Certainly verbal abuse is common and verbal denigration is almost constant.' 

Mrs Steel also claimed she was the victim of ongoing financial abuse, which Ms Swain discounted. 

'I am not satisfied that that is made out either,' she said. 

Dr Steel is a senior neurosurgeon and spine surgeon at St Vincent's Hospital who has been unable to work 

The court heard Dr Steel gave his wife $10,000 a month for personal expenses and $10,000 to run their household as well as $4,000 for a full-time nanny. 

Dr Steel said the household allowance covered costs including their children's expenses, after-school activities, clothing and groceries. 

It did not go towards bills such as rates, utilities, school fees, holidays, motor vehicle expenses, insurance, takeaway food or restaurant meals.

The court heard in total Mrs Steel received $175,902 in regular payment over seven months last year.

Mr McGirr said it was 'farcical' under those circumstances for Mrs Steel to claim financial abuse.

Mrs Steel is pictured centre alongside Roxy Jacenko (left) and Kristy Mirzikinian, (right) wife of professional poker player Warwick Mirzikinian 

'I was living within our means of a four to six million annual salary,' Mrs Steel said. 'I was spending five per cent of our annual income.'

Mrs Steel claimed she was in fear of her husband and police had applied for an apprehended violence order against him.

'I'm petrified because of the ongoing abuse,' she told police.

Ms Swain dismissed the AVO application, finding while Mrs Steel may hold fears 'I am not satisfied those fears are based on reasonable grounds'. 

Dr Steel, a senior neurosurgeon at St Vincent's Hospital in Darlinghurst, has been unable to practise due to the charges against him. 

Dr Steel, a senior neurosurgeon at St Vincent's Hospital in Darlinghurst, has been unable to practise due to the charges against him 

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