The estranged wife of retired rugby star Simon Danielli, convicted of criminal damage a year ago, had the conviction affirmed on Friday after a judge labelled the incident a “petulant and foolish display.”

Upholding the conviction of criminal damage against 30-year-old Olivia Danielli at the County Court, Judge Brian Sherard said the appeal, which sat on seven separate days, had lead to “the public dissemination of intensely private details” of the couples’ marriage and its break down.

“That can hardly be in the long term interests of Mr or Mrs Danielli nor, more importantly, their young children,” said the judge.

Describing how the evidence was “stretched to breaking point by allegations and counter allegations, he told the court, sitting in Antrim, that although he had heard evidence of “covert recordings, drug use and infidelity...I have found little or no value in that evidence.”

Instead, Judge Sherard said it was clear to him that as Mr Danielli had paid a deposit for the Jaguar XF, insured it, had all sets of keys to it and effectively had “full and total possession of it,” the ex-Scotland winger had a propriety interest in it when his wife attacked it in August 2015.

Originally convicted in April last year, it was the Crown case that in an argument over a babysitting issue, Mrs Danielli hammered the wing mirror off with the umbrella and threw it across the bonnet of the car causing around £1,800 of damage.

The defence contended however that while Mr Danielli, a winger for Ulster and Scotland before he retired in 2012, had daily use of the £38,000 car and was the registered keeper, it was in fact owned by his wife as she had used her money from the family business to buy it.

Her father Seamus Jennings is a multi-millionaire property developer who regularly features in Irish rich lists and in 2012, was said to be worth an estimated £26 million.

A month earlier the same judge convicted Mr Danielli of assaulting Michael Brown, a man he alleged was having an affair with his wife, and fined him £500 but acquitted the ex-rugby star of assaulting Mrs Danielli arising from the same incident on 11 March 2015.

Taking the witness box for the first day of his estranged wife’s hearing last June, 37-year-old Mr Danielli alleged she had "kneed me in the privates" and then struck him to the side of the head before leaving his property at The Coaches, also in Holywood and attacking his car parked outside, an attack which he recorded on his mobile phone.

As part of the evidence the court heard that while the retired winger claimed his wife “looked like she was on drugs” at the time of the incident, she provided urine and hair samples which when tested proved negative for drugs.

After Social Services became involved with the family, Mr Danielli was also tested in November and December 2015 and “traces of cocaine” were uncovered in his samples, revelations which he claimed were done “for the media.”

Giving evidence on her own behalf, Mrs Danielli accepted she made a “deliberate decision” to damage the car with the steel umbrella but that when she hammered the wing mirror off, “I was taking my frustration out on my own car.”

Delivering his judgement today (fri), Judge Sherard said:

“It’s quite clear that the applicants intention was to damage the vehicle and damage it she did.”

Judge Sherard said while there was no documentation concerning the money used to buy the Jag, it was common case Mr Danielli had paid a deposit, had been given a significant discount as an Ulster Rugby professional and the rest had come from his wife whose financial state was “intrinsically linked” to her families business interests.

Equally, the ownership of the car was not an issue and there had been no demands for the money to be repaid “while at least the marriage was healthy.”

Judge Sherard told the court the evidence “contributes to my conclusion that she knew well that Mr Danielli had a substantial proprietary interest in the vehicle.”

“ I find as a matter of fact that the applicant was aware of Mr Danielli’s proprietary interest in the car and she was also aware of his custody and control of the car and she did not honestly believe it to be her exclusive property so accordingly the appeal is dismissed,“ declared the judge.

Turning to sentencing, Judge Sherard affirmed the fine and compensation order, commenting that District Judge Hamill “appears to have pitched this matter entirely correctly.”