Melanie Sykes discusses 2013 arrest for assault on ex-husband Jack Cockings

Melanie Sykes has discussed her 2013 arrest for assault against ex-husband Jack Cockings for the first time.

The presenter, 51, who wed Jack – then 27 – in May 2013, was arrested at her London apartment on November 12 of that year, following a dispute with the roofer.

The star later admitted the offence after being questioned by Metropolitan Police officers and was cautioned for common assault. Mel later launched legal action in London to have the caution withdrawn and it was removed from official records.

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Candid: Melanie Sykes has discussed her 2013 arrest for assault against ex-husband Jack Cockings for the first time (pictured May 2013)

Melanie, who divorced Jack in 2014, recounted the night of the arrest and claimed police officers failed to check both sides of the story when they arrested her, didn’t allow her to wait for a babysitter for her children before putting her in handcuffs and later inundated her with questions about showbusiness after cautioning her.   

She told The Times: ‘The doorbell went and I answered the door, and they told me that they were there to arrest me. I was just, like, ‘You are joking.’ I was totally shocked. It felt like an out-of-body experience. I’ve never ever been in trouble with the police. I’m not a violent person, I’m not capable of it.’

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Detailing the incident, Mel said she shut herself in the kitchen after an argument with Jack on the night of her arrest, after she had asked him to leave. She claimed that unbeknown to her, Jack had called the police and claimed she had assaulted him.

The star admitted she was initially ‘clueless’ about why police were at her front door and later had to leave her sons Valentino, then 11, and Roman, nine, with Jack.

Interview: The presenter, 51, who wed toyboy Jack – then 27 – in May 2013, was arrested at her London apartment on November 12 of that year, following a dispute with the roofer

She claims the police did not endeavour to check both sides of the story or ask if she was a victim, and simply arrested her. 

Mel said she wanted the ordeal to be over as quickly as possible and to be home for her son, and claimed she was told to ‘take the caution’ when she asked for the ‘quickest way out’ at the police station.

 The star said after she was cautioned and taken back to her home, the officers began ‘laughing and joking’ and asking her questions about her life in showbusiness.

She said: ‘All the way home they were laughing and joking and wanting to know about the people that I’ve worked with. ‘What’s it like to work with Des O’Connor?’ 

‘I was in the back of the car, having the most traumatic night of my life, trying to manage two police officers who want to have a casual, fun chat with me. What are you supposed to do? You can’t tell the policeman that it’s a really inappropriate conversation because, well, I was scared.’ 

Melanie said she had assumed the police treated her in that way because of her fame – but said after speaking to friends she realised it was happening to many people.

The star said she had been spurred on to speak out about her treatment by the police following the murder of Sarah Everard by then-serving Met police officer Wayne Couzens in March 2021.

Couzens used his police authority to falsely arrest Sarah, 33, before raping and murdering her. 

Split: Melanie, who divorced Jack in 2014, claimed police officers failed to check both sides of the story when they arrested her, didn’t allow her to wait for a babysitter for her children and later inundated her with questions about showbusiness (pictured May 2013)

The star says she wants to speak out about her police treatment to help other women.

She claims the arresting officers believed Jack’s story and didn’t pursue her side of the incident. Jack declined to comment to The Times.

Melanie also said the officers didn’t know how to deal with the situation and were ‘lacking in empathy.’ 

The day after her arrest she was called by social services which left her questioning whether her children ‘would be taken from me.’ There was no further action.     

Melanie said she now wants to campaign on how the police handle abuse allegations. 

 A Met Police spokesman said: ‘We want to hear about people’s experiences and have the opportunity to examine what has happened, identify any poor performance and improve the service we provide our communities.’

They added that they have started specialist domestic abuse training for frontline officers, and believe it is ‘absolutely crucial’ to train them about violence against females.                         

Melanie and Jack raised eyebrows when their relationship blossomed on micro-blogging site Twitter, but sceptics were soon forced to eat their tweets when they got engaged in August 2012. 

 The engagement was followed by a lavish ceremony in front of close friends and family members.

Among the guests on hand to witness the couple exchange vows were fellow TV presenters Eamonn Holmes and Des O’Connor – her old sidekick from their days presenting afternoon chat show Today with Des and Mel.

Mel’s first marriage to actor Daniel Caltagirone ended in 2009 after eight years, during which they had two children. 

Tragedy: The star said she had been spurred on to speak out about her treatment by the police following the murder of Sarah Everard (pictured) by then-serving Met police officer Wayne Couzens in March 2021

Read more:

  • Melanie Sykes: Why I’m finally speaking about my arrest | Times2 | The Times