TV Secret Millionaire businessman Tony Banks has appeared in court accused of a vicious assault on his girlfriend in their home.
Falklands War veteran and nursing home tycoon Banks is alleged to have thrown a mobile phone and spat at Kimberley Anderson before repeatedly pushing her to the floor and grabbing her by the throat.
The assault is said to have happened in December last year at the couple’s home in Angus.
The 54-year-old founder of the Balhousie Care Group appeared in court, where his solicitor entered a not guilty plea on behalf of the businessman, charged under his full name of Anthony Banks.
The summary level charge alleges that on December 9 at Brechin Road in Kirriemuir Banks assaulted Ms Anderson by throwing a mobile phone at her, striking and kicking her on the body and repeatedly seizing her by the hair.
He is further alleged to have repeatedly pulled her to the floor, repeatedly kneeled on her stomach, slapped her on the head, spat on her and seized her by the throat and compressed it causing her injury.
Banks is due back in court early next week for a pre-trial calling of the case, with trial set down for February 2.
The Balhousie Care Group has grown to become Scotland’s largest private care home provider since Banks began the business in Kirriemuir in the early 1990s.
In 2009, the former paratrooper took part in the sixth series of Channel 4’s popular programme The Secret Millionaire, spending time on a run-down estate at Anfield in Liverpool and offering support to projects there after the experience.
He returned to the television screen a year later in a BBC documentary entitled From War to Peace which charted the ex-serviceman’s journey to Argentina to return a trumpet taken as a war trophy during the Falklands conflict.
An award-winning entrepreneur and well-known philanthropist supporting causes including Combat Stress and the Stroke Association, Banks was also a high profile figure in the Scottish referendum debate through his key role in the pro-independence Business for Scotland organisation.
In 2011, he also revealed he had paid $200,000 for a seat on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space craft project.