Danny Simpson plays down assault shame as ‘the odd incident early in Leicester career’

Danny Simpson has referred to his assault conviction against his former girlfriend as “the odd incident early in his Leicester career”.

The out-of-contract player, who has been linked wit a trial at Celtic, made the comments as he spoke about the death of Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash.

In an interview with The Mail reflecting on the tragic incident, Simpson remembered how the owner had backed him during “tough times”.

Speaking fondly of Vichai, he said: “It just didn’t seem real.

“The news filtered through but we still believed it wasn’t anything to do with him. It was devastating. He was like everyone’s dad, one of the most generous, kindest people I’ve met.

“Even through the odd incident early in my Leicester career he always supported me.

“He believed good people could go through tough times. Some owners might wash their hands. That wasn’t Vichai.”

In May 2015, Simpson was convicted of assaulting Stephanie Ward and given community service.

Police had turned up at his house following reports of a row.

A court heard how a police officer arrived and heard “choking” and Simpson was found with his “hands around the throat” of his ex-partner.

The court listened to an eight-minute 999 call where a struggle and the pair arguing could be heard.

In evidence, PC Gareth Hughes said that as he approached the house in Worsley, Salford, the screaming stopped and changed to the sound of “someone gasping for breath and struggling to breathe.”

Police found Simpson “straddling” Ms Ward with “his hands firmly placed around her neck”.

Simpson may not wish to speak in great depth about that night and small wonder.

However, if he’s referring to it at all as he tries to win himself a contract, as he does in the interview, the gravity shouldn’t be lost or dismissed as “the odd incident early in his Leicester career”.

There has been no confirmation from the club that reports of Simpson being offered a trial are accurate. Nor has there been anything to the contrary.

No one is saying he doesn’t have the right to earn a living but Celtic, as it stands, is not his club and never has been.

If he was a player at Parkhead at the time of such an incident, the decision would be whether to sack him or not.

That decision at the time lay elsewhere and it’s up to Leicester how they chose to deal with it.

Despite Celtic’s troubles in sourcing a right-back, we are not obliged to offer anyone a contract. We have no responsibility towards the player and his ‘rehabilitation’.

If Celtic don’t offer him a contract, they will be just like the hundreds of other clubs in the world doing the same.

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