Lawyer claims case against retired rugby player is prejudiced

Former Scotland winger Simon Danielli faces charges of assault on his wife and her friend

 Simon Danielli: His lawyer claims his case is  prejudiced by the reversal of a decision not to prosecute him.  Photograph: Darren Kidd/Presseye/INPHO

Simon Danielli: His lawyer claims his case is prejudiced by the reversal of a decision not to prosecute him. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Presseye/INPHO

 

The defence case of a retired rugby international accused of assaulting his wife and her friend is prejudiced by the reversal of a decision not to prosecute him, his lawyer claimed on Tuesday.

Defence solicitor Dermot Bowes told Newtownards Magistrates Court he would be lodging an abuse of process application on behalf of 37-year-old Simon Danielli to argue it would be unfair to prosecute him for assault and criminal damage.

The retired winger who played for Bath, Ulster and Scotland and who had an address at The Coaches in Holywood, Belfast, is facing charges that he damaged an iPhone belonging to his wife Olivia and three counts of common assault alleging that he assaulted both her and her friend Michael Browne in March last year.

Mr Bowes revealed the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland had initially decided not to prosecute Mr Danielli but that decision was reversed following a review of the case.

That review, said the lawyer, only came after charges had been laid against Mrs Danielli, adding that a letter had been sent to the prosecution seeking clarification of the reasons their initial decision was reversed.

Jaguar damaged

The former model had at one stage been charged with assaulting Mr Danielli but that offence was dropped by the prosecution service at an earlier stage.

Adjourning both cases to December 7th, the judge said he would review Mrs Danielli’s case and hear the abuse of process application for Mr Danielli on that date.

He told the prosecution and Mr Bowes that before the application, which if successful would result in his charges being dismissed, he wanted the lawyers to lodge skeleton arguments and guideline authorities relating to abuse of process application in the Magistrates rather than the Crown Court.