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Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson acquitted of assaulting partner

Former Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley believes Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson would be 'perfect' to succeed Michael O'Neill
Image: Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson was found not guilty of assault at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson has been acquitted of assaulting his partner after a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

He was found not guilty of assaulting Robyn Lauchlan and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner towards her on Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh, on December 13 last year.

Following a two-day trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Sheriff John Cook found him not guilty of both charges, with Motherwell subsequently issuing a statement on the matter.

"Motherwell Football Club welcomes the not guilty verdict of the court in our manager Stephen Robinson's case," it read.

"The decision is entirely in line with our expectations, having been fully aware of the circumstances from the very beginning.

"Stephen has had our unconditional support throughout and will continue to do so."

Earlier, Ms Lauchlan criticised domestic abuse law in Scotland as she told the court prosecuting Robinson was "unfair and wrong".

She said moves to prosecute in domestic abuse cases regardless of whether the alleged victim wants to press charges are "incredibly damaging to innocent people".

She said the Northern Irishman did not assault her and she feels the prosecution service ignored her voice.

Robinson was accused of grabbing Ms Lauchlan, pushing and pulling her and pinning her against a fence.

The football manager was further accused of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting, swearing and acting aggressively.

Ms Lauchlan told the court she sparked the incident on December 13 by becoming distressed after Robinson did not defend her when a man in an Edinburgh bar told her to "shut the f*** up".

She said "I thought: 'Why is [Stephen] not saying anything to this man who has just ridiculed me in front of everyone and Stephen has allowed him to do it?"'

Ms Lauchlan said she was drunk and stormed off through Edinburgh's Christmas Market, shouted and swore at him, but he was not aggressive to her and only put his hands on her to try to calm her down and get her to go home.

She said she accused him of not being loyal and wanted him to apologise.

Ms Lauchlan said he refused, saying: "I'm not going to fight some guy in a bar. If you want someone like that you need to go for somebody younger, that's not me."

She said when Robinson was arrested she "broke down" and told police if anyone was being detained it should be her as "Stephen has not done anything wrong".

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The court heard she wrote several letters to the procurator fiscal, including one criticising domestic abuse law.

She wrote: "It terrifies me how easy it is to ruin someone's life with this new law in place.

"It is so incredibly damaging to innocent people, especially those in the public eye.

"I have not been heard once despite the point of this new law being in place to protect those who cannot speak up for themselves.

"I find it disgraceful that the alleged victims are completely undermined with their truth not being heard.

"This is a situation where no assault has taken place and that has been stated from the beginning by myself, and that is my truth."

Giving evidence, she accused other witnesses of lying and said: "In my head you've got four people against the truth.

"The reality is I was drunk and I behaved like an idiot and he's paying the price and it's so unfair and wrong."

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