Policewoman praised for confronting rugby star

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On Thursday, in the Island’s Magistrate’s Court, Cipriani (30) was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay the police officer £250 in compensation after he pleaded guilty to assaulting nightclub doorman Jaoquim Pereira (63) and resisting arrest following a night out in St Helier.

The star fly-half, whose full name is Daniel Jerome Cipriani, admitted the offences before a packed courtroom of national and international media as well as representatives of his Premiership club, Gloucester Rugby.

The court was told the incident followed a confrontation with the doorman about drinks that Cipriani had tried to leave the Royal Yacht with. And when the star became abusive, Mr Pereira turned on his bodyworn camera, which was clipped to his tie.

‘He said things I would not like to repeat,’ Mr Pereira told the Daily Mirror. ‘I told him I needed to turn my camera on because of his behaviour.

‘Then he sort of panicked. He snatched my tie, which is a clip on, from my shirt and ran away, so I reported it to the policewoman.’

He added that some of Cipriani’s friends had earlier been refused entry to the club, so he had tried to take drinks out to them.

‘I said “I’m sorry, you can’t, it’s against the rules”,’ said Mr Pereira.

‘I was just doing my job. I didn’t know who he was. He had turned up earlier with about 20 rugby players. We have to think of our guests, so I only let three of them in because they were with a long-standing and respected customer.’

According to reports, Cipriani grabbed the policewoman’s collar and arm when she confronted him, after which she fell down and hurt her neck, face and arm. Two other officers then helped to restrain him.

Mr Pereira told the national newspaper: ‘The policewoman confronted him on her own, taking on someone more than twice her size. She is tiny, but incredibly brave and very courageous. That should be recognised.’

Hours after being sentenced, Cipriani – who had been in the Island for a pre-season training session with Jersey Reds – issued an apology on social media in which he said he was sorry to the officer.

‘I want to start with a heartfelt apology. To my club, teammates, supporters and most importantly the police,’ he wrote. ‘They have a tough job and vital job and I’m mortified that, earlier this week, I acted in a way that I hugely regret. I am truly sorry.

‘I would also like to put on record the words of [Relief] Magistrate Sarah Fitz who publicly stated that “it was a minor incident” and “a fine is more than sufficient”.’

Mr Pereira said he had not received an apology from Cipriani and added: ‘But there are no hard feelings. I’m sure he is not a bad guy.’

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