Rangers star Kenny Miller stopped his friend threatening a pregnant woman with a knife when a row broke out at a restaurant just hours after an Old Firm derby, a court heard
Rangers star Kenny Miller stopped his friend threatening a pregnant woman with a knife when a row broke out at a restaurant just hours after an Old Firm derby, a court heard.
Stacey O’Donnell, 28, said she was confronted by William Steele, 36, following an argument with Ibrox ace Miller and his wife Laura, after Rangers’ 5-1 defeat to Glasgow rivals Celtic.
The claim emerged in a statement given to police by Miss O’Donnell following the alleged incident at Da Luciano’s restaurant in Bothwell, Lanarkshire.
She told officers she believed Steele, from Eaglesham, was going to stab her and only stopped when former Scotland international Miller ran towards him calling him a ‘f***ing idiot’.
Steele is on trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court where he has denied assaulting Miss O’Donnell outside Da Luciano’s by running towards her and threatening to stab her whilst in possession of a knife in September last year.
Prosecutors also claim he acted in a threatening and abusive manner likely to cause fear or alarm by brandishing a knife at Miss O’Donnell and threatening to stab her and her father.
A jury heard a police statement given by Miss O’Donnell two months after the alleged bust-up where she described how Miller had stepped in as she pleaded with Steele not to knife her.
She told officers investigating the case: ‘I thought there may be repercussions because of the people involved and I now want to make a statement.
‘I could hear and see a car coming towards me, it was a Range Rover, a white one. I knew this was Billy’s car because I see it all the time.
‘He parked next to the restaurant and ran towards me shouting, he was holding a knife in his hand.
‘The blade was a few inches long, it looked like it was in two parts but I couldn’t see the handle.
‘I was pleading with him, I was terrified and I told him I was pregnant. I said ‘don’t stab me I’m pregnant’ and hoped that would talk him round.
‘I could see Kenny on Silverwells Crescent, he was running towards Billy shouting to him ‘you are a f*****g idiot, what are you doing? Get in the car.’
‘He seemed to listen to Kenny and he put the knife away and they got in the car. Billy was driving and Laura was there too.’
Kenny Miller, pictured with his wife Laura in 2009
The trial had earlier heard Miss O’Donnell say her police statement with the knife allegations may have been wrong.
Asked why her story ‘appeared to be in two different worlds’ by depute fiscal Michael Macintosh, she replied: ‘The story has been fabricated and it is not as straight forward as they put in that statement.
‘It was in the press that he had a knife but now I’m trying to explain that he had something in his hand but I don’t know what.’
When asked if she was scared of Steele, Miss O’Donnell said: ‘I don’t like the situation at all that I’m in but I’m not afraid of him.’
trial later heard Kenny Miller’s wife Laura claimed she had lost diamond earrings worth £40,000 in the alleged fracas at Da Luciano’s.
Stacey O’Donnell’s father Hugh, 60, told the jury he encountered Steele and Mrs Miller in the player’s lounge at Hampden Stadium during an Old Firm League Cup semi-final in October last year.
Mr O’Donnell, from Bothwell, said Steele accused a restaurant manager at Da Luciano’s, William McDonald, 23, of stealing them and demanded compensation.
But Mr O’Donnell told them to take it up with McDonald, who was then going out with daughter Ashley, or claim the insurance.
He told the court: ‘I was at Hampden at a semi-final and Billy was there with Laura Miller and his wife.
‘Billy came to me and started to talk about what happened that night at Da Luciano and wanted to find out about the earrings that were Laura’s.
‘I heard in the paper the earrings were missing and that they were worth £40,000 and it was mostly Laura that was doing the back-chatting.
‘Billy was of the opinion William had stolen them and so was Laura.’
A jury heard a police statement given by Miss O’Donnell two months after the alleged bust-up where she described how Miller had stepped in as she pleaded with Steele not to knife her
O’Donnell also told the court Steele later visited his Bothwell home and again asked for the earrings.
He denied being threatened and said the pair had only spoken in the kitchen for a short while before Steele left.
But in a police statement read to the court O’Donnell told officers Steele had demanded £45,000 from him for designer accessories.
He told them: ‘Billy was saying this is not sorted but I told him that it was finished.
‘He said William is a dead m
an and I genuinely think William is in danger 100%.
‘Then he said he wanted £45,000. £40,000 for the earrings, £4000 for the Gucci bag and £1000 for the Tom Ford sunglasses.’
Steele also faces a charge that on November 2 last year he attempted to extort £45,000 from Hugh O’Donnell by threatening to harm him and members of his family at an address in Bothwell.
On the same date he is accused of trying to extort £50,000 from William McDonald and Ashley O’Donnell at another property in the village.
He is alleged to have threatened to have them shot and damage their property and business unless the money was paid in cash.
The trial before Sheriff Ray Small continues.