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Wife who accused neurosurgeon Timothy Steel of assault alleged violence against her first husband

A discredited housewife whose claims of assault against her neurosurgeon husband were dismissed by a magistrate made similar accusations of abuse when she was married to champion jockey Shane Dye. 

Emma Steel had accused Dr Timothy Steel of punching, slapping and kicking her in the couple’s sprawling home at Bellevue in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. 

A magistrate found on Thursday that 41-year-old Mrs Steel’s evidence was inconsistent and dismissed all charges against Dr Steel. 

Mr 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. 

More video has emerged of Mrs Steel nagging Dr Steel about money, despite being given $24,000 a month for personal and household expenses and a full-time nanny.

Emma Steel, (pictured) whose claims of assault against her neurosurgeon husband Dr Timothy Steel were dismissed by a magistrate on Thursday, made accusations of domestic abuse when she was married to champion jockey Shane Dye

Emma Steel, (pictured) whose claims of assault against her neurosurgeon husband Dr Timothy Steel were dismissed by a magistrate on Thursday, made accusations of domestic abuse when she was married to champion jockey Shane Dye 

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

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 a senior neurosurgeon and spine surgeon at St Vincent’s Hospital who has been unable to work

Mrs Steel was previously married to Shane Dye, the New Zealand-born winner of more than 1,700 races including a Melbourne Cup and four consecutive Golden Slippers. Dye was arrested in Hong Kong in June 2004 after allegations he assaulted his then wife








‘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.’

Mrs Steel was previously married to Dye, the New Zealand-born winner of more than 1,700 races including a Melbourne Cup and four consecutive Golden Slippers. 

They began a relationship when when Mrs Steel was a 19-year-old model known as Emma-Kate Sullivan and were together for six years before tying the knot. 

Daily Mail Australia can reveal Mrs Steel made a complaint about Dye, which she later withdrew, just eight days after the pair married while living in Hong Kong. 

Police were reportedly called to the couple’s apartment one morning in June 2004 after a neighbour heard them arguing about money.

Dye was taken to Sha Tin police station to be interviewed and his wife was taken to Prince of Wales Hospital and treated briefly before being discharged.

Police took out a restraining order against Dye on behalf of his wife and their two-year-old son Jack but his wife withdrew her complaint several days later. 

‘The restraining order was lifted and Emma went to the police station and has withdrawn all charges against me,’ Dye told the South China Morning Post at the time.

‘Emma has told me she will be returning to Australia with our son Jack as soon as possible.’

More video has 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'

More video has 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 when Mrs Steel dug her nails into him

Dr Steel's injuries from a previous alleged domestic incident in 2017 were photographed and tendered in evidence at Downing Centre Local Court

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

Shane Dye was one of Australia's top jockeys before heading to Hong Kong to ride more winners. He won 91 Group 1 races and in his heyday was dubbed 'Billy Idol'. He is pictured with basketball star Dennis Rodman at a celebrity poker tournament in Sydney in March 2008

Shane Dye was one of Australia’s top jockeys before heading to Hong Kong to ride more winners. He won 91 Group 1 races and in his heyday was dubbed ‘Billy Idol’. He is pictured with basketball star Dennis Rodman at a celebrity poker tournament in Sydney in March 2008

Dye, who had left his wife of 17 years for the young model, denied ever having hit Emma but admitted the pair had argued.

‘I don’t care what people think but I tell you I have never hit her,’ he said. ‘She’s been walking around all week without a mark on her.’

After the police case was dropped Dye was not prepared to say the marriage was over but he was not sure if the couple would reconcile.

WHO IS SHANE DYE? 

Raymond Shane Dye was born in Matamata, New Zealand in 1966 and is now 53.

He was an apprentice jockey in his homeland before moving to Sydney where he first rode for Vic Thompson at Warwick Farm in the late 1980s.

Dye won more than 90 Group 1 races including the 1989 Melbourne Cup on Tawriffic and the 1995 W.S. Cox Plate on Octagonal.

He won four consecutive Golden Slippers from 1989 to 1992 and had a successful partnership with the champion thoroughbred Tie the Knot. 

Dye rode for eight years in Hong Kong and stepped out of the saddle in 2013. He was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2014.

The man known as ‘Billy Idol’ won more than $74million for his horses’ owners. 

‘I’m leaving that open,’ the jockey said. ‘For the moment each of us requires a bit of space to let the heat go out of the issue.’

Dye’s first wife Karla, who almost died giving birth to their son Nick, defended her former husband after the incident by saying he had never been violent.

‘Shane never attempted anything like that,’ she said. ‘It’s completely out of character.’ 

After Dye, Karla married rugby league international Paul Langmack but they split after more than a decade together.

Dye’s second son Jack gave evidence against his mother when she accused his stepfather Dr Steel of assaulting her.

Jack Dye, who still lives with Mrs Steel, said his mother was obsessed with money and called Dr Steel a ‘useless piece of s***’.

Police had alleged Dr Steel came home from his work Christmas party in the early hours of December 14 last year and later punched, slapped and kicked his wife in the couple’s bedroom.

The 56-year-old denied all charges and gave evidence he was sleeping soundly after a late night when woken by his wife, who assaulted him.

Magistrate Vivien Swain preferred Dr Steel’s evidence and described his wife’s testimony as ‘inconsistent’ when dismissing all charges against him.  

Mrs Steel had also claimed to be a victim of financial abuse, despite being given a personal allowance of $10,000 a month plus $10,000 for family expenses and $4,000 for a full-time nanny. 

Jack Dye said his mother continually demanded more money from his stepfather and had been particularly antagonistic towards her husband in the days leading up to the alleged assault. 

‘She was abusive with Tim and demanding more money and basically saying she didn’t have enough money to feed the kids,’ he told the court. 

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

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

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

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

The week before the alleged assault Dr Steel had taken Jack to Dubai to attend the races as a reward for his hard work leading up to sitting the Higher School Certificate.

Dr Steel also paid for Jack’s best friend to accompany them as the boy’s father had committed suicide and his mother was working three jobs to support him. 

Jack said when his mother found out about the arrangement she was livid. 

‘She was continually angry,’ he said. ‘She was continually ripping in about [Jack’s friend].’ 

The 19-year-old said two days before their departure Mrs Steel had called his friend’s mother and accused her of ‘stealing from our family’.

Mrs Steel had even confronted his friend in their home and abused him, Jack said. 

‘My mum called [his friend] a leech and said him and his family were never welcome here,’ he said. ‘She was yelling at the top of her lungs and forced him out of the house.’ 

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

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

Jack Dye has lived with his mother Emma and stepfather Timothy for the past 15 years. He is pictured left with his father Shane Dye and older brother Nick, whose mother is Karla Dye

Jack Dye has lived with his mother Emma and stepfather Timothy for the past 15 years. He is pictured left with his father Shane Dye and older brother Nick, whose mother is Karla Dye 

Jack said he was aware of the household’s financial arrangements and thought his mother could run the family’s affairs with $24,000 a month, which works out to be $288,000 a year.

‘I thought it was more than enough,’ he said. 

Jack said his mother regularly harangued his stepfather about finances.

‘Every second night she would say Tim’s useless and does nothing for the family. She’d call him a useless piece of s***.

‘She’d always say she had no money to feed her kids and Tim was depriving them of food essentially.’

Jack described his stepfather as ‘relaxed’ and ‘very reasonable’.

‘I’ve lived with him for the past 15 years and I’ve never had an issue.’

Dr Steel, who has moved out of the family home, said when his wife found out he was paying for Jack’s friend’s trip to Dubai she was ‘very angry’.

‘She expressed it to me. She expressed it to Jack. She telephoned [the friend’s] mother and expressed how disgusted she was he was going.’

Dr Steel said upon their return from Dubai his wife was still angry with him.

‘She continued to be very angry and openly displayed that anger about the trip.’

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 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 agreed with his solicitor Mr McGirr his marriage was ‘tumultuous’.

‘Emma has made multiple comments in the last 12 months, “I’m only in this relationship for the money – all I need from you is the money”,’ he said. 

Mrs Steel has accused her husband of assaulting her on December 14, the morning after his work Christmas party and just days after the Dubai trip. 

The former model alleged Dr Steele had been having an affair with his secretary, with whom he was in a hotel room on the night of that festive gathering. 

Secretary Angie Turner told the court that suggestion was ‘ridiculous’. Dr Steel’s practice manager Stephanie Jobson was also asked if she had engaged in an affair with her boss and said ‘absolutely not’.

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

Dr Steel and Mrs Steel had a domestic dispute in the bedroom of their Bellevue Hill home (pictured). They bought the property for more than $6million in 2010

Dr Steel and Mrs Steel had a domestic dispute in the bedroom of their Bellevue Hill home (pictured). They bought the property for more than $6million in 2010

He said that on Friday, December 13 he had organised a Christmas party at Woolloomooloo’s W Hotel for 50 to 60 guests. 

Among those invited were friends, colleagues, nurses, radiographers, theatre staff and three receptionists. 

Dr Steel said that morning his 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 W Hotel where the party had paid for drinks and canapes to be served from 6 to 9pm. 

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 the party had gone longer than planned and he went home shortly after his wife tried to call his secretary at about 4.20am.  

Dr Steel said his wife screamed at him with accusations he had been having an affair with his secretary Angie Turner (pictured leaving court on Wednesday)

Dr Steel's practice manager Stephanie Jobson leaving court on Wednesday

Dr Steel said his wife screamed at him with accusations he had been having an affair with his secretary Angie Turner (left). His practice manager Stephanie Jobson is pictured right 

Mrs Steel alleged her husband had been having an affair with his secretary. No evidence of any such affair was found. Mrs Steel is pictured centre alongside Roxy Jacenko (left) and Kristy Mirzikinian, (right) wife of professional poker player Warwick Mirzikinian

Mrs Steel alleged her husband had been having an affair with his secretary. No evidence of any such affair was found. Mrs Steel is pictured centre alongside Roxy Jacenko (left) and Kristy Mirzikinian, (right) wife of professional poker player Warwick Mirzikinian

Mrs Steel has said she confronted her husband while he was in bed about 6am and reminded him the couple was due at a well-known Rose Bay restaurant at 1pm.  

‘I said to him, “Tim we’re not going to be able to go to lunch with our neighbours at Catalina,”‘ Mrs Steel said.

‘I was trying to talk to him and getting no response.’

Mrs Steel told the court her husband then attacked her about 8.45am, assaulting her four times with a punch to the head and stomach and a slap to the face. 

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

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

Dr Steel said after a scuffle with his wife he jumped into the family's pool (pictured) to ease the pain of deep scratches to the top half of his body. He was holding his wife's phone at the time

Dr Steel said after a scuffle with his wife he jumped into the family’s pool (pictured) to ease the pain of deep scratches to the top half of his body. He was holding his wife’s phone at the time

Jack Dye (pictured) was rewarded by his stepfather with a trip to the races in Dubai after studying hard for his HSC. The 19-year-old still lives with his mother at Bellevue Hill

 Jack Dye (pictured) was rewarded by his stepfather with a trip to the races in Dubai after studying hard for his HSC. The 19-year-old still lives with his mother at Bellevue Hill

Dr Steel said on Wednesday he had been sound asleep, face down in bed, when his wife woke him up by scratching his back and head.

‘I was awoken by severe pain in my back and behind my ears,’ he said. ‘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. 

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

Dr Steel said there was a scuffle over a phone he thought was his but later turned out to belong to his wife. He denied ever hitting or intentionally hurting Mrs Steel. 

‘My only preoccupation was to get the phone,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t understand why she continued to attack me and my only concern was getting out the door. 

‘I had not done what my wife was accusing me of. I just wanted to stop being hit and get away.’

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

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

Dr Steel said he had gone downstairs and jumped into the pool after the scuffle 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. 

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.’ 

Jack Dye is pictured leaving the Steel family home on Thursday hours after his stepfather was cleared of assault. The 19-year-old had lived with Dr and Mrs Steel for 15 years

Jack Dye is pictured leaving the Steel family home on Thursday hours after his stepfather was cleared of assault. The 19-year-old had lived with Dr and Mrs Steel for 15 years

Dr Steel strongly denied claims of withholding money from his wife, and the magistrate found no evidence of such financial abuse. 

He said the $10,000 monthly 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. On top of that Mrs Steel received $10,000 in personal expenses.

The court heard 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.

‘I was living within our means of a four to six million annual salary,’ she said.

Mr McGirr said Mrs Steel had been motivated by money in making her claims against his client. 

Emma Steel (centre) pictured at a Christmas lunch at the Sydney Children's Hospital Silver Committee in 2014

Emma Steel (centre) pictured at a Christmas lunch at the Sydney Children’s Hospital Silver Committee in 2014

‘The catalyst for all this is money,’ he said. ‘She was treating Dr Steel like a walking ATM. 

‘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.’

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’.

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

The magistrate also dismissed that application. 

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 is one of Australia's leading neurosurgeons. He has been unable to work because of the charges brought by police after his wife made unfounded assault allegations against him

Dr Steel is one of Australia’s leading neurosurgeons. He has been unable to work because of the charges brought by police after his wife made unfounded assault allegations against him

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