A judge today lamented that he is ‘sick and tired with the lack of progress’ in the cases against a retired rugby star and his estranged wife who ‘are washing their dirty linen in public’.
Adjourning the cases against Simon Danielli and Olivia Danielli for a week at Newtownards Magistrates Court, District Judge Mark Hamill warned their lawyers he is ‘getting to the stage where I will have these two defendants connected and have them attend court every single time’ the cases are mentioned.
Mr Danielli, a 37-year-old retired winger who played Bath, Ulster and Scotland and who has an address at The Coaches in Holywood, is facing charges that he damaged an iPhone belonging to his wife Olivia and three counts of common assault alleging that he assaulted both her and her friend in March last year.
Mrs Danielli (29), from the Marino Station Road, also in Holywood, is accused of damaging her husband’s £38,000 Jaguar XF car in August last year.
The former model had at one stage been charged with assaulting the 6’2” former Ulster and Scotland winger but that offence was dropped by the PPS at an earlier stage.
Lawyers for Mr Danielli had been set to argue the case against him should be dismissed on the grounds of an abuse of process, relying on a decision not to prosecute him being reversed. But today Stephen Molloy asked for the case to be adjourned for a week to allow senior QC Mark Mulholland to address the court.
It was then that Judge Hamill said he was “sick and tired” of the case languishing in his court list.
He also told Mr Molloy: “I want to refer counsel and directing counsel to look at the legal implications of what Mr Danielli says in his interview.
“I will say no more than that but the legal implications of what he says at interview I would have thought, are fairly obvious,” said Judge Hamill.
Neither defendant has attended court at any stage and having warned that the defendants faced the prospect of being compelled to come to court every time, judge added that might “let them assess what they are going through.”
“Let them assess that it’s a public court to which the press and the public have access and what they’re doing, to use the vernacular, is washing their dirty linen in public,” declared the judge.
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 £67 million.