Court gives Leicester's Danny Simpson curfew, will miss part of title party
Danny Simpson will miss part of Leicester's Premier League title-winning celebrations and end-of-season bash after a judge ordered he must serve a curfew immediately for throttling his ex-girlfriend.
Defender Simpson, 29, had only done half of the 300 hours he was sentenced to last June for assaulting Stephanie Ward, the mother of his child, in a row at their house in Worsley, Greater Manchester, in December 2014.
His lawyer Gary Ryan came to Manchester Magistrates' Court to ask for the rest of his sentence to be revoked and instead be able to pay a fine.
Mr Ryan said the press had twice discovered where Simpson had been doing his unpaid work in the community and this "intrusion" had made it impossible for him to complete the work.
Simpson shook his head in the dock as District Judge Alexandra Simmonds accepted the reasons for him not completing the unpaid work were not his fault, but suggested a 21-day, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew be put in place instead as the defendant had so much money a fine would be "no punishment."
The player's lawyer then argued a curfew would be especially "onerous" as his team still had one game to play, against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, followed that night by a function at a London hotel, then an open-top bus tour of Leicester on Monday and a trip to Thailand starting on Tuesday.
Judge Simmonds though was unmoved -- and told Simpson he must start his curfew immediately.
She told the defendant: "I'm not satisfied a curfew would be unworkable despite the fact that the defendant will obviously be inconvenienced. The purpose of the order is to restrict the liberty of Mr Simpson as punishment for the offence for which he was convicted.
"This was an offence of domestic violence and the courts take domestic violence very seriously. You will have to serve your sentence. You will need to be in tonight at 10 p.m."
Mr Ryan responded that he had "already taken instructions on an appeal," but was told the defendant would have to comply with the order immediately, irrespective of any appeal being heard.
Simpson may appeal to a Crown Court judge on Thursday afternoon, otherwise he must observe the curfew at his home in Swinton, Salford, for the next 21 days. He will be monitored electronically by an ankle tag and if he breaks the order could be brought back to court.
Simpson had been convicted of assault after a police officer called to his house found him sat on top of his ex with his hands around her neck, on the evening of Dec. 29, 2014. He denied the offence but was found guilty after a trial. He indicated he would appeal against his conviction but later this was dropped.