Belfast Telegraph

Simon Danielli told to consult lawyer over new files in ex-wife's appeal

By Paul Higgins

Retired rugby star Simon Danielli has been advised to seek independent legal advice as a result of disclosure documents.

A judge yesterday adjourned an appeal by his estranged wife Olivia Danielli due to the contents of third party documents which had been disclosed to the defence and prosecution, as well as a lack of transcript from the last day's hearing last month.

Putting back the continuing appeal to September, Judge Brian Sherrard addressed Mr Danielli, who was in the public gallery, advising the ex-Scotland, Ulster and Bath winger to "take advice" from his own solicitor.

"It may very well be that you may benefit from speaking to a solicitor with regard to the third party disclosure issues that have come to light," Judge Sherrard told Mr Danielli.

Earlier this year 30-year-old Olivia Danielli, from Marino Station Road, Holywood, was fined £500 and ordered to pay for the cost of repairs after she was convicted of causing criminal damage to Mr Danielli's Jaguar XF car in August 2015.

In an incident recorded by Mr Danielli on his mobile phone, she attacked the car with a metal handled umbrella, breaking off the wing mirror which she then slung at the car, causing £1,800 of damage to the vehicle.

The mother-of-three, whose father is multi-millionaire property developer Seamus Jennings, is appealing both the conviction and the sentence of the lower court.

She claims that, apart from a deposit paid by Mr Danielli, the car was bought and maintained using money from the various Jennings family businesses, and therefore she owned it.

As a person cannot be convicted for damaging their own property, she believes she should be acquitted.

In March the judge who convicted Mrs Danielli also convicted her husband of assaulting Michael Brown, a man he alleged was having an affair with his wife, in March 2015.

However, Danielli was acquitted of assaulting his wife.

On the first day of the appeal hearing in June, Mr Danielli alleged his estranged wife had "kneed me in the privates" on the day in question before damaging his car.

He alleged she then struck him on the side of the head before leaving his property at The Coaches in Holywood and attacking his car parked outside, which he recorded on his mobile phone.

Mrs Danielli had originally faced a charge of common assault - but that was dropped by the Public Prosecution Service.

Adjourning yesterday's hearing and freeing Mrs Danielli on continuing bail, Judge Sherrard said he hoped that "with a fair wind" the appeal could resume on the next date.

He added that if matters needed to be addressed in the meantime, "I can be contacted at any stage".

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