| 13.9°C Dublin

Former Manchester United defender faces prison for 'throttling' mother of his child


Leicester City's Danny Simpson

Leicester City's Danny Simpson

Leicester City's Danny Simpson

Danny Simpson, the Leicester City full-back, faces a prison sentence after being found guilty of throttling the mother of his child in a drunken argument.

The former Manchester United and Newcastle United player was found guilty of one count of assault by beating in court in Manchester after police responded to a 999 call to find him straddling Stephanie Ward, his on-off partner of eight years, with both hands around her throat.

Police gave evidence that they heard shouting from the home and a "choking" sound, then discovered Miss Ward struggling to breathe as she was being throttled by Simpson.

Simpson, a former partner of the X Factor judge and pop group N-Dubz, was dragged off Miss Ward, handcuffed and arrested at the scene in Worsley, Greater Manchester, while Miss Ward was left 'crying hysterically and cowering' in a corner of the living room.

As Simpson was led away, the court heard that he shouted, "Steph, tell them I didn't do anything".

The pair, who were understood to be on generally good terms and have a three-year-old daughter, had been out for a Chinese meal in Manchester on December 28 before going out for further drinks at a hotel bar, the court was told.

They started arguing when Miss Ward accused Simpson of texting another woman and the argument continued on the way home.

During the eight-minute 999 call the pair can be heard arguing – Miss Ward can be heard shouting, 'Get off me, Get off me!'

Simpson was heard calling her "a slag".

PC Gareth Hughes, the first policeman on the scene, said: "I could hear screams, crying, then silence. I could then hear choking.

"I could see a small female lying in a prone position facing up. She was about three metres away from me.

"I saw a male who I now know to be Daniel Simpson straddling across her with his hands firmly placed round her neck. He was sitting on her on his knees. I initially heard choking when I entered the room.

"He seemed startled by my sudden presence. I had to drag him by his arm."

Simpson denied the charges, saying that the pair were arguing over a pair of shoes. He was told that "all sentencing options including custody remain open".