Scots rugby star Norrie Rowan accused of assault

Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Chambers Street
Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Chambers Street
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Former Scotland rugby international Norrie Rowan has gone on trial accused of forcing his way into a woman’s flat, assaulting her and stealing a laptop, jewellery and other items.

The 62-year old businessman, who gained 13 caps playing for his country, denies assaulting former staff nurse, 39-year old Hannah Jonathon, at her flat in Spottiswoode Street in the city on June 16, 2012, and theft.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that Rowan, of Niddry Street South, Edinburgh, and Ms Jonathon had returned to Glasgow Airport around midnight after a holiday in Ibeza. Ms Jonathon said there had been a “falling out” on the holiday. There had been arrangement that Rowan’s son would come to Glasgow and drive them back to Edinburgh. She said Rowan told her that they would go to The Caves, property he owned in Edinburgh, and then he would drive her home.

“This was the first moment I felt alarmed” she said. “Mr Rowan said: “No, I want to talk to you”. “I said I was happy to be talked to, but not manhandled” she said. Rowan, she added, appeared clearly annoyed and told her he wanted everything he had bought her on the trip returned.

Fiscal Depute Pauline Shade asked: “What did he get you?” to which she replied: “He had paid for a lot on the trip. I felt I simply had to get away from him.”

Rowan, she added, told her to find her own way back to Edinburgh. She went to a taxi rank and the driver agreed to take her to Edinburgh at a reduced rate and she withdrew money for the fare from an ATM.

When she got back to her first floor flat she said the buzzer on the communal front door was pressed constantly. She looked out the window and saw Rowan and told him she was not coming to the door. She threw two cartons of cigarettes down to him, but, she said, he shouted: “That’s not all I want. That’s not all I have come for”. She shut the window, drew the curtains and turned off the light.

The next thing she knew was someone punching and kicking her door.

“I saw the wood splintering and Mr Rowan’s hand appeared round the door,” she said.

She claimed he then struck her with his open hand four times on the head and she fell backwards into the hall. Rowan, she said, began looking “frantically” through her bags.

“I said to him ‘Be careful my computer is in there’ and as I went towards him he hit me four times, three with the flat of his hand, and one punch, I felt his knuckles”.

She was knocked to the floor, banging her right side. Rowan, she said, told her: “Get the stuff together and I’ll be back for the rest tomorrow”.

Ms Jonathon said she then began banging on neighbours’ doors and one came and contacted the police. She said that because of the injuries she had received she had lost her job at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and had moved from her flat.

The trial was adjourned until next Monday.