WELSH INTERNATIONAL rugby star Ian Gough has been ordered to pay £2,130 in fines and costs after attacking his beauty queen ex-girlfriend just days after she got engaged to pop star Dane Bowers.
The 37-year-old player grabbed and pushed former Miss Wales Sophia Cahill against his van as he dropped their two-year-old son Gabriel off at her house on January 5.
Miss Cahill said she was so shaken up by the attack that she fled in tears back to the south London home she shares with 1990s singer Bowers, to whom she got engaged over the Christmas break.
She did not attend Gough’s sentencing at Croydon Magistrates’ Court in south London yesterday but a victim impact statement read out on her behalf said she has suffered from anxiety and panic attacks since the incident.
Prosecutor Christian Wheeliker said the medication she must take for them means that she is unable to drive, affecting her work as a TV presenter.
Miss Cahill also complained of becoming the target of harassment by Gough’s family and the victim of allegations on social media.
Mr Wheeliker said that, as a professional rugby player, Gough – who split up with Miss Cahill in 2011, when she was pregnant with their son – was “by definition a powerful and strong man”.
Miss Cahill, in contrast, was “by all accounts, a small lady”.
But Mark Haslam, defending Newport Gwent Dragons player Gough, contested Miss Cahill’s claim that she cannot drive, saying she had been spotted behind the wheel of her white Jeep in Swansea on Tuesday.
He described the assault as “one isolated incident”.
Mr Haslam said a “breakdown in communication” had led to a series of acrimonious phone calls between the pair that evening as Gough was late dropping the toddler off and the defendant reacted when Miss Cahill went to get the child out of his van because he liked to do this himself as part of his “ritual”.
“He is a loving father and on this occasion all he was trying to achieve was his normal way of saying goodbye to his son as he handed him over,” Mr Haslam said. Gough is appealing against conviction.