A senior RAF officer has been convicted today of abusing his wife after suspecting she was was having an affair.
Wing Commander Allan Steele, 42, grappled with Linzi, 43, in attempt to seize a laptop computer he believed contained damning evidence of her cheating.
The qualified solicitor and military legal advisor - who was decorated by US President Barack Obama after serving at the Pentagon - accused his wife of leaving a sex aid in view of three children.
His career is now in doubt after he was found guilty of shouting, swearing and threatening or abusive behaviour at a house in Waterside, Ayrshire, in July. An assault charge was found not proven.
The senior NATO officer had uncovered text messages and emails between Mrs Steele and an old school friend she had met at a reunion, Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard.
Steele said he had earlier turned up unexpectedly and asked her to use the ‘find my iPhone’ app, as he thought he had left his phone in the officers mess at Joint Forces Command HQ in Northwood, near London.
But he took her phone after Mrs Steele asked him to “give her five or 10 minutes”. He wandered the streets and sat in a park, where he discovered the phone had been disconnected.
Before it went dead he saw a Facebook notification containing the phrases “he has come back” and “he knows everything”. Steele told the court: “That was perhaps the most hurtful part.”
His family were so concerned about him they urged him to see a doctor and he was later referred to an “emergency team”.
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Steele admitted taking the laptop but denied assaulting his wife or being abusive to her.
He said he lost his balance and stumbled forward as Mrs Steele fell onto a bed. “At that stage Linzi bit me on the arm,” Steele said, adding he was bitten four times before escaping with the laptop.
Steele told the court he wanted to search for “further evidence of adultery. I was convinced at that stage that there was something dreadful on the laptop computer that I wanted to know about.”
He took the laptop and his wife’s phone to a data recovery company in Glasgow for forensic analysis. “I think it was the correct thing to do,” he said.
In one text message the former school friend, Greig McKenzie said: “Going to phone you, stand by for action.” Mrs Steele replied: “Drive safe and call when you get there xx.”
Mr McKenzie also wrote from a hotel to say: “It’s a lovely evening. If you were sitting opposite it would be perfect.” Mrs Steele replied: “I wish I was there too.”
John Scott QC, defending, asked Mrs Steele: “Can you see why that might suggest an inappropriate relationship between two people married to other people?” She disagreed.
Confronted with screenshots of emails and texts in which she had said in one message to Mr McKenzie: “Have a great day, sweetheart. Thinking about you all the time xxx”, Mrs Steele responded: “It’s not uncommon for me to have a term of endearment with my friends.”
Mrs Steele said her husband barged in to the house and pushed her against a wall. He called her a “slut” and accused her of leaving sex toys in the living room “within children’s reach”.
Mr Scott asked her if her husband had found a condom in the house which was “not relevant to the marriage”.
Mrs Steele said she had been given contraceptives after a smear test but had “shoved them in a drawer as I would not need them with Mr Steele. Or anybody.”
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Referring to the struggle for the laptop, she added: “I ended up on the bed with my head pressed against the bed while he was on my back trying to get it off me.”
The struggle continued in another bedroom and she bit Steele on the arm in an effort to get him off her. “It’s all I could do,” she said.
Mrs Steele insisted her husband was “aggressive and abusive”. She added: “He begged me not to leave him. He wouldn’t accept I was leaving him because I didn’t love him any more.
“I was told by Allan my phone was being sent to a forensic lab for analysis to prove the explicit sexual affair I was supposed to be having. He called me a slut and other terrible swear words.
“He shouted that he’d found my dildos and that was proof I was having an affair. He said they’d been all over the home and in the middle of the living room floor.”
Mr Scott asked: “Were they?” Mrs Steele replied: “Of course they weren’t.” She also denied attacking her husband in a bid to keep the laptop.
Sheriff David Hall found Steele guilty of threatening or abusive behaviour but found a charge alleging he assaulted her not proven.
Sentence was deferred for good behaviour and Steele’s bail was continued.
Steele, of Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, recently served at NATO’S Joint Force Command in Brunnsum, Netherlands.
He previously served on exchange at the US Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the Pentagon, for which President Obama awarded him the US Meritorious Service Medal.