Wales

Ian Gough brands Sophia Cahill a 'manipulative liar'

Ian Gough, assault appeal Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ian Gough played rugby 64 times for Wales

Former Wales international rugby player Ian Gough has claimed his ex-girlfriend Sophia Cahill is a "manipulative liar" as he appeals his conviction.

The 38-year-old from Swansea was ordered to pay £2,100 after he was found guilty of assault at Croydon Magistrates' Court in July, 2014.

Despite his denials, he was found to have shoved the former Miss Wales into a camper van door.

On Monday, Gough challenged the conviction at Croydon Crown court.

Gough has always denied attacking his former partner, claiming she became aggressive when he offered to get their son out of his vehicle.

'Prepared to lie'

The disputed incident occurred at Ms Cahill's south London home days after she became engaged to pop star Dane Bowers, in January, last year.

The court heard that at the time the 18-stone lock wanted custody of their child.

Gough claims Ms Cahill made up allegations about the alleged assault because he had made a statement outlining his criticisms of her parenting skills the day before.

The player's counsel, John Rees, told Ms Cahill: "You are prepared to lie, to do anything you can to thwart Mr Gough's application for residence and present yourself as a good mother."

Miss Cahill, 31, replied from the stand: "No."

Under cross-examination Miss Cahill admitted she did not initially think the incident with Gough was serious enough to call the police, instead first thinking to ring her solicitor.

Mr Rees suggested Ms Cahill had repeatedly changed her story about what happened.

Left 'shocked'

The barrister argued that Ms Cahill lost her temper after Gough made a "sarcastic" comment about a back injury she had purportedly suffered.

"He made a comment and that caused you to flip. You started shouting and you started hitting the side of the van. You hit the wing mirror and caused the wing mirror to fall in," the barrister alleged.

Ms Cahill replied: "There's absolutely no way I did any of that."

Mr Rees accused her of being a "manipulative liar" over the whole affair.

Prosecutor, Cynthia McFarlane, said when Gough arrived at the property, he stayed in the van, prompting Ms Cahill to try to get her son.

Ms McFarlane said: "The appellant then exited the vehicle, stormed around to where the complainant was and with two hands the appellant grabbed the complainant shoulder, flinging her around."

'Grab'

Giving evidence from the witness box in a black dress, the dark-haired model said she was left "shocked" by the alleged assault.

"It was just such a quick thing and I wasn't expecting it at all," said Ms Cahill.

"I was just crying and upset."

The court heard Mr Bowers told Ms Cahill he had seen the first "grab" but had missed the second because he was putting his shoes on to go outside.

Mr Bowers then sent a text message to Gough, saying: "Did you just put your hands on Sophia?"

In a police interview Gough said Ms Cahill had become violent and punched his van, the court heard.

Bowers is due to give evidence during the appeal hearing.

The case continues.