Former Castleford Tigers and Dewsbury Rams prop forward Daniel Igbinedion has been remanded into custody after being found guilty of trying to strangle his girlfriend.
He was found guilty of assault and coercive behaviour of his partner Katy Lyles on a number of occasions during their relationship, a court heard.
Igbinedion, 26, who most recently was on a short-term deal at Oldham but met Lyles when he started as a personal trainer just opposite her workplace.
They started a relationship, but Katy said it became violent rather quickly.
“He would speak to me like I was piece of poo on his shoe – so disrespectful,” she told a jury.
She said he was jealous when she spoke to any other man at the gym and ‘wanted my full attention all the time.’
In December 2018 they went together to a Nuffield Christmas party in Liverpool.
“He said I was overdressed and I looked like a slag,” Katy told the court.
“He was watching me, watching my very move. He was hawk-eyeing me, I couldn’t even go to the toilet,” she said.
They went to a number of bars with Igbinedion’s work colleagues and bosses, but the prop decided he wanted to go back to their hotel, whilst Katy wanted to stay out.
Katy had a smartwatch which would dial 999 if she pressed it, but that was taken from her wrist by Igbinedion.
After being dragged through the streets a nightclub bouncer intervened, took her to safety and detained Igbinedion until the police arrived and arrested him.
The jury was shown photographs of her badly bruised right wrist and bruised and grazed knees.
They lived with each other on and off. He would have rugby training on a Saturday and play on a Sunday, which she sometimes watched, but Igbinedion would accuse her of flirting with other men.
Katy said: ”He was obsessed with getting married to me and wanted to have kids. I never wanted any of that from him.
“He took my contraceptive pills off me and threw them away. I’m not stupid I got some more and I had to hide them in my work laptop bag.
“I thought ‘what a stupid girl why don’t you just leave’, there were so many red flags. But I just accepted it and carried on. I was very scared of him, I was terrified of him.”
She told the jury she was so scared he would attack her that she contemplated throwing herself off a bridge onto the railway track.
She said:”The guy tried to kill me. He tried to strangle me.”
He also threatened her with a knife.
“Daniel pointed a knife at me,” she said.
Igbinedion was found guilty of three counts of assault and also of a charge of coercive behaviour, but will be sentenced in December.