Assault charge against former NI player Jim Magilton dropped

Former footballer Jim Magilton pictured leaving Antrim Magistrates Court.
Former footballer Jim Magilton pictured leaving Antrim Magistrates Court.

Retired premier league and NI midfielder Jim Magilton today agreed to be on “good behaviour” after an allegation that he assaulted his teenage step daughter was withdrawn.

A prosecuting lawyer told Antrim Magistrates Court there had been an agreement that the single count of common assault would be withdrawn and replaced with a binding over order.

He told District Judge Peter King that order “is in the usual terms - to keep the peace and be of good behaviour” for the next 12 months.

The judge said he would “mark the matter withdrawn” and bind Mr Magilton over with a recognisance of £500 and a warning that he faced five days in jail in default.

Addressing 47-year-old Mr Magilton directly, the judge told him there were a number of documents to sign before he left the court.

The former football star and current NI under 21 manager from Aberfoyle Gardens in Belfast, had been accused of common assault against his teenage step daughter on January 7 this year.

During an earlier hearing a police officer gave evidence it was the police case that Mr Magilton allegedly hit the 14-year-old “a couple of slaps to the head and allegedly dragged her down the stairs by the arms.”

Defence solicitor Mr Fearghal MacElhatton said previously that Mr Magilton “isn’t accepting the allegations made against him,” that he gave a “full account” during police interviews and that the charge “will be contested in full.”

Currently the elite performance director at the IFA and manager of the NI under 21 team, Magilton started his playing career with Liverpool and remained with the club until 1990 when he joined Oxford Utd.

After scoring 34 goals from midfield in 150 league appearances he signed for Southampton in 1994 and years later, he moved to Sheffield Wednesday for two seasons before going briefly on loan to Ipswich Town in a move made permanent in 1999.

His club career ended at Ipswich in 2006, having made over 250 league appearances. He moved into management at Ipswich, where he led the club for three years before managing QPR for a brief spell.

In his international career, Magilton earned 52 caps and scored five goals.

More recently he was appointed as a director at the IFA in 2013 and manager of the U-21 team in 2015.