Ex Rugby star accused of assaulting model wife - who is in turn charged with smashing Jaguar

Simon Danielli
Simon Danielli

A retired Ulster rugby star was today accused of assaulting his wife.

At Newtownards Magistrates Court, Simon Charles Jonathan Danielli (37) was charged with causing criminal damage to an iPhone which belonged to his estranged wife Olivia Danielli.

He was also charged with two counts of common assault against her and a further allegation of common assault against Michael Browne on 11 March last year.

None of the facts surrounding the allegations were opened in court and Mr Danielli, from the Coaches in Holywood, was not obliged to attend for the brief hearing.

Making a joint application, defence solicitor Dermot Bowes and a prosecution lawyer asked for the case to be adjourned for two weeks to 18 October when it is expected a date will be set for his trial.

Ironically, while his case appeared at number 21 in the list, Mrs Danielli appeared at number nine in the court list where she faces a count of criminal damage, alleging that she damaged or destroyed her husband's Jaguar XF car on 9 August last year.

Ex-Bath, Borders and Ulster winger Mr Danielli made 32 appearances for Scotland and 78 for Ulster before retiring in 2012 due to a back injury.

His estranged wife Olivia Danielli (nee Jennings) is the daughter of one of NI's wealthiest men, property developer Seamus Jennings who in 2012, was said to be worth €76m (£67m).

A former model, the 29-year-old mum-of-three from the Marino Station Road, previously worked for Alison Clarke’s prestigious agency ACA Models.

At one stage Mrs Danielli had also been accused of assaulting the 6'2" ex-international winger but that charge was dropped by the prosecution.

She was due to go on trial for the criminal damage charge last week but that was adjourned two weeks ago after District Judge Mark Hamill heard about the charges Mr Danielli now faces with the judge telling the court the "only logical way" to tackle the cases was in chronological order, meaning "the first one on first."

At that stage, the judge also heard the PPS had initially directed there would be no prosecution against Mr Danielli but that decision had been reviewed and reversed, resulting in today's charges against him.

On Tuesday Mrs Danielli's defence barrister Chris Holmes reminded the court there were parallel proceedings against her husband which had been adjourned for two weeks.

Judge Hamill adjourned her case to 18 October as well, telling the court that similarly to the case against her husband, "I will fix a date then."

He repeated his stance however that "the first one first, that's the logic of the situation."

Belfast Telegraph