Rugby: Women face blackmail charges after demanding money from Cipriani

Danny Cipriani was allegedly blackmailed while with the Sale Sharks in September and October of last year. Photo / Photosport
Danny Cipriani was allegedly blackmailed while with the Sale Sharks in September and October of last year. Photo / Photosport

England rugby star Danny Cipriani was allegedly blackmailed by two women, a court has heard.

Lisa Murphy, 39, is said to have demanded money from the 28-year-old Wasps fly-half between September and October last year.

Murphy appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court this morning, wearing a white sleeveless top with black leggings, to face one count of blackmail.

She spoke only to identify herself and did not enter a plea to the charge.

The court was told that another woman, Violet Smith, will also be charged with blackmailing Cipriani on 31 August.

Sarah Mitchell, defending Murphy, said: 'Just to note, there is a co-defendant who will be charged on the 31 August.'

Deputy District Judge Kelvin Henderson sent the case to Kingston Crown Court.

He said: 'This charge is one that can only be dealt with at the crown court.'

Murphy, of Wootton, Northampton, was ordered not to contact Cipriani or Smith while she is on bail.

She will next appear for a preliminary hearing at Kingston Crown Court on 20 September.

In June, the rugby ace was convicted of drink-driving after getting behind the wheel having spent the night drinking cocktails and champagne.

He was found guilty of the offence following a trial at Westminster Magistrates' Court and ordered to pay a total of £7,620 in fines and costs. He was also banned from driving for 18 months.

The rugby union player claimed he was 'shocked' that the breathalyser was positive, despite admitting he had drunk two espresso martinis and a glass of champagne less than an hour earlier.

- Daily Mail

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