Norrie Rowan tells of ‘Hell’ of assault charge

Norrie Rowan. Picture: TSPL
Norrie Rowan. Picture: TSPL
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A FORMER Scotland rugby star has spoken of his relief following “two years of hell” after being cleared of assaulting a nurse he holidayed with in Ibiza.

Norrie Rowan denied suggestions he had been in a relationship with 39-year-old Hannah Jonathan who had accused him of attacking and robbing her in her flat in Marchmont after they returned from the Spanish island in June 2012.

The 62-year-old, who owns the Caves nightclub on Niddry Street, said: “This has been hanging over me for almost two years. It’s been a horrible time, especially with the nature of the alleged offence being hitting a woman and putting her in hospital. It’s terrible when you know it’s all made up but you have to wait to prove it.”

He was accused of attacking Ms Jonathan and robbing her of a bag, containing her passport, a laptop, and jewellery, after going to her flat demanding the return of gifts he bought her on holiday.

But the former Forrester and Boroughmuir forward, who was capped 13 times for Scotland, was cleared of assault and robbery at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday following a trial.

Rowan said the incident came after Ms Jonathan flew out to join him and another friend as they enjoyed a holiday in Ibiza.

She said that on their return she had made her own way back to her flat, and that in the early hours of the morning, Rowan had smashed in her door and slapped and punched her on the head. He had then, she said, made off with the travel bag.

Rowan, of Niddry Street South, said none of the allegations were true, and added: “Myself and James had been there for about ten days and she came across for the last three. I had known her for about ten years through friends but we were never in a relationship.

“She was acting erratically on the holiday and I think she was worried about losing her job when she went back due to absenteeism.”

During the trial, Ms Jonathan said there had been a falling out during the holiday. At the end of the Crown case, defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson moved there had been no corroboration of the testimony by Ms Jonathan that Rowan had been in her flat and had assaulted her.

Fiscal depute Pauline Shade agreed and Sheriff Gordon Liddle found Rowan not guilty of the assault and robbery charge.

Rowan was convicted of failing to provide police with a DNA specimen following his arrest.

The court heard the former player said he would not give a specimen without his solicitor present. Sheriff Liddle fined Rowan £500 for failing to provide the specimen.