Ex-Ireland rugby player acquitted of harassing estranged wife

Judge also refuses application for restraining order on former Ulster star Paddy Wallace

Paddy Wallace: judge identified inconsistencies in his estranged wife’s evidence. Photograph: Matt Mackey/Inpho/Presseye

Paddy Wallace: judge identified inconsistencies in his estranged wife’s evidence. Photograph: Matt Mackey/Inpho/Presseye

 

Former Ireland and Ulster rugby player Paddy Wallace has been acquitted of harassing his estranged wife.

A judge at Belfast Magistrates’ Court dismissed the charge against him after identifying inconsistencies in Tina Wallace’s evidence. The judge also refused a prosecution application to impose a restraining order.

Mr Wallace (37) was accused of subjecting his wife to harassment over two dates in May last year. By that stage the couple had separated after 11 years of marriage.

The court was told he sent 41-year-old Mrs Wallace a number of text messages on May 1st. During a contested hearing she claimed he appeared at the kitchen window of the house while a male friend was present. It was also alleged that her husband tried to take photographs. Mr Wallace denied the allegations.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall said successful prosecution on a harassment charge required a course of conduct of at least two incidents. She pointed to discrepancies between the evidence given of the second alleged incident and an account given in separate proceedings. Mrs Bagnall said it was unfortunate police had not obtained a statement from the witness in the house.

“I cannot be satisfied to the relevant standard what happened on that date,” she said. “In those circumstances I have to dismiss the charge.”