London 2012 ‘Queen’ stuntman jailed for pushing partner down stairs

Gary Connery was convicted by a jury at Oxford Crown Court of grievous bodily harm without intent over the domestic violence incident in October 2020.

16 August 2022

A stuntman who jumped from a helicopter while doubling for the Queen at the London Olympics has been jailed for pushing his former girlfriend down some stairs.

Gary Connery, who parachuted into the 2012 opening ceremony dressed as the monarch, was convicted by a jury of grievous bodily harm in a case of domestic violence.

The 53-year-old was sentenced to 18 months after the victim’s shoulder was “shattered” following an argument at their home.

Judge Nigel Daly, sentencing Connery at Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday, said: “It is abundantly clear that you have shown absolutely no remorse for what happened and accept no fault on your behalf.”

A restraining order preventing him from contacting the victim indefinitely was also imposed.

Connery, from Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, who has worked on films including Indiana Jones and Johnny English Reborn, pushed his then-partner down a flight of stairs at their home on October 24 2020.

She suffered a broken shoulder as well as a cut to her head, after the couple, who had been drinking wine, had a row about who would turn off a light and shut a gate.

Judge Daly went on: “It is clear that you had an argument late at night. You’d both been drinking and it is clear that you lost your temper.

“However she was behaving, she did not deserve to be thrown down stairs.

“Throwing somebody down the stairs, as I am quite satisfied you did, can result in extremely serious injuries. In this case it resulted in injuries which were serious.”

He said the “domestic context” of the incident was an “aggravating feature” as it left the victim “vulnerable”.

Connery was cleared by jurors last month of grievous bodily harm with intent but found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm without intent.

London Olympic Games – Day 0
Gary Connery parachuted into the Olympic Stadium dressed as the Queen during the London 2012 opening ceremony (Lewis Whyld/PA)

A victim statement by Connery’s ex-girlfriend, read out to the court by prosecutor Jonathan Stone, said: “The impact on every aspect of my life has been enormous.”

She said she felt “unsafe” to return to the house and became financially reliant on her parents.

She added: “I just want Gary to take responsibility for what he’s done and for what he’s put us through as a family.”

Sarah O’Kane, defending, said Connery had no previous convictions and had been of good character before the offence occurred.

Ms O’Kane said the incident, which was “impulsive, spontaneous and, perhaps more appropriately, short-lived” has had an impact on Connery’s career.

She went on: “The phone isn’t ringing the way it once was.”

During the London 2012 opening ceremony, audiences watched a short film of James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, walking into Buckingham Palace, surrounded by corgis, to pick up the Queen, who was sitting at her writing desk.

She greeted him with the words “Good evening, Mr Bond”, and the pair apparently boarded a helicopter which flew across London to the stadium.

Connery, as the Queen, then parachuted down to the ground alongside fellow skydiver Mark Sutton as 007, before the monarch appeared in the arena to take her seat to cheers and applause.

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