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Celebrity TV fitness coach allegedly assaulted model ex-girlfriend after 'series of rows'

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Francis Usanga leaving court today
Francis Usanga leaving court today

TV FITNESS guru Francis Usanga allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend following a "series of rows", a court has heard.

The 29-year-old former Today show fitness expert of Lanesboro, Finglas, north Dublin is accused of assault causing harm to model Emma Murphy at FX Fitness in Santry on July 3 year.

The charge is under Section Three of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act. He made his second appearance Dublin District Court today.

Mother-of-two, 26-year-old Ms Murphy, a model and fitness blogger, did not attend the proceedings but had been present for an earlier hearing.

Defence solicitor Daniel Hanahoe told Judge John King that the court has already been told that the DPP has directed summary disposal. This means the case could be dealt with at district court level and should not be sent forward to the circuit court, which has tougher sentencing powers.

In making a final ruling on the trial venue Judge King read medical reports and was given a brief outline of the allegations. "It will be alleged that the altercation occurred following a dispute between both parties, there had been series of rows," Det Sergeant Michael Mulligan told the court.

Judge King said he did not see any reason why he would not accept jurisdiction, meaning the case will remain in the district court. He acceded to a request from Mr Hanahoe to grant a full disclosure order and an adjournment.

Dressed in a blue blazer, navy jeans and black runners, Mr Usanga spoke quietly to his solicitor to let him know which dates that suit him and when he will be away. Judge King then granted a 10-week adjournment.

Mr Usanga will be expected to enter a plea at the next hearing.

Nigerian born Mr Usanga previously appeared in TV3's Red Rock series and has also appeared as a fitness trainer on RTE's The Today Show presented by Daithi O Se and Maura Derrane on a number of occasions.

A former BScene model, he also appeared in Jennifer Maguire's dating series, One Night Stand, in 2010. He formerly worked at FX Fitness, in Santry, north Dublin.

At his previous hearing on March 30, free legal aid was granted after a statement of his means was furnished to the court which was also told he is currently unemployed.