Thursday 22 March 2018

Rugby star Muliaina cleared of groping woman

Mils Muliaina
Mils Muliaina

Benjamin Wright in Cardiff

Former Connacht player Mils Muliaina has lifted the lid on his seven-month court hell after being wrongly accused of groping a woman.

The All Blacks legend who was yesterday cleared of grabbing a 19-year-old's bottom, which was alleged to have happened on the dancefloor of a Cardiff nightclub.

He was later arrested by police moments after a cup match before being charged with sexual assault.

A judge heard the decision to prosecute the World Cup winner was "outrageous" and his legal team said the mistaken identity case should never have come to court.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided to discontinue proceedings after deciding there was not enough evidence.

Muliaina (right), who has won 100 international caps, said he was pleased proceedings were now over.

But he told reporters the events of the past few months had been very difficult for him. He said: "It's been incredibly frustrating not to be able to publicly comment about it.

"While I understand the police have a job to do, the manner in which I was arrested I find difficult to understand.

"I can still hold my head up high and, as the judge said, this is no stain on my character. I have always known that I did not do anything wrong.

"I don't even know the woman and I don't know what happened, but I wasn't the person who had done what she said had happened."

Muliaina, who was playing for Connacht at the time, had been in Cardiff playing in a league match against Cardiff Blues.

The following month, TV cameras showed Muliaina being led away by police following a tie in Gloucester.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News