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Danny Simpson to join Leicester City celebrations as curfew sentence quashed

Published 13/05/2016

Leicester City footballer Danny Simpson was found guilty of throttling Stephanie Ward
Leicester City footballer Danny Simpson was found guilty of throttling Stephanie Ward

Premier League winner Danny Simpson will be able to enjoy his team's title winning celebrations after a judge agreed to quash his curfew sentence for domestic violence and allow him to do unpaid work later in the summer.

The Leicester City defender, 29, asked a court on Thursday to let him pay a fine instead of finishing his community sentence for throttling his ex-girlfriend Stephanie Ward.

Simpson's lawyer said press "intrusion" meant the footballer had only completed 145 of the 300 hours he was given for the assault in December 2014.

But District Judge Alexandra Simmonds said Simpson had so much money a fine would be "no punishment."

Instead, Judge Simmonds, sitting at Manchester Magistrates' Court, revoked the unpaid work order and gave Simpson an immediate curfew order, whereby Simpson would have to be at home between 10pm to 6am for the next 21 days.

It meant Simpson would be monitored with an electronic ankle tag at his home in Salford - and miss out on a string of his title-winning team's end of season celebrations - including an end of season bash after Sunday's final game, an open top bus tour of Leicester and a trip to Thailand.

But on Friday, Simpson was back in front of the bench, this time at Manchester Crown Court, after he launched a fast-tracked appeal against the curfew order.

Simpson's lawyers said twice the defendant had tried to complete his unpaid work order but was frustrated by the press taking photographs and speaking to other offenders and probation staff after finding out where he was doing the unpaid work.

It was claimed no alternative placement could be found and he had asked for a fine instead.

Press approaches caused "health and safety concerns" for staff and other offenders, Darren Preston, prosecuting, told the court.

Judge Richard Mansell QC said: "He's hardly keeping a low profile, turning up for unpaid work in a Lamborghini. Why can't he get a cab?"

Judge Mansell said he "did not buy" Simpson could not do his unpaid work elsewhere - other footballers had done it.

The judge, sitting with two magistrates, reversed the decision to replace the unpaid work with a curfew order and instead re-imposed the unpaid work order.

He told Simpson he can complete the rest of his 300 hours once his club commitments diminish over the summer.

He added: "We are satisfied an alternative placement can be found if necessary out of the area and steps can be taken by probation and the appellant (Simpson) to do his unpaid work hours while keeping a relatively low profile.

"Given the relatively free schedule he will have for a number of weeks when otherwise he would take holidays, we are satisfied he can complete the hours in this way."

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