A FORMER Scotland rugby player has been cleared of a charge of assaulting a woman in her home.

Norrie Rowan, of Edinburgh, had denied attacking Hannah Jonathon in her flat in Spottiswoode Street in the city on June 16, 2012, and robbing her of a bag, containing her passport, a laptop, and other items. He also pled not guilty to refusing to give a DNA sample to police officers.

During a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Ms Jonathon claimed she and Rowan had been on a holiday to Ibiza, but had fallen out. On their return, she had made her own way back to her flat. She then told the court that in the early hours of the morning, Rowan had smashed in her door and slapped and punched her on the head before making off with the travel bag.

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At the end of the Crown Case, defence solicitor advocate, Iain Paterson, moved that there had been no corroboration of the testimony by Ms Jonathon that his client had been in her flat and had assaulted her. The Fiscal agreed and Sheriff Gordon Liddle found Rowan not guilty of the assault and robbery charge.

Fiscal Depute Pauline Shade, however, said there was sufficient evidence to convict Rowan of failing to provide a DNA specimen after he had been detained and charged with the assault by police officers. Sheriff Liddle agreed and found Rowan guilty of that charge.

Mr Paterson told the Sheriff that after his arrest, Rowan had spent two and a half days in custody and had had the matter hanging over his head since June 2012.

Sheriff Liddle told Rowan: "It is a serious matter to interfere with police officers carrying out their duty and I have to take all factors into account. You have been on trial here for three days and incarcerated for two and a half days. That is not an over-riding factor. I also have to take into account your means. I will impose a financial penalty. I will fine you £500."