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Trial begins of TV fitness instructor accused of assaulting model ex-girlfriend

29-year-old Francis Xavier Usanga is accused of assault causing harm to Emma Murphy on 3 July last.

6839754966_040852239d_k Source: William Murphy

A TV FITNESS guru is facing trial for assaulting his model ex-girlfriend.

Former Today show fitness expert Francis Xavier Usanga (29) of Lanesboro, Finglas in north Dublin is accused of assault causing harm to Emma Murphy at FX Fitness in Santry on 3 July last.

The charge is under Section Three of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

He appeared before Judge Patricia McNamara Dublin District Court today dressed in a grey pinstriped blazer and dark blue jeans.

Mother-of-two Ms Murphy (26), a model and fitness blogger, watched the proceedings from the public gallery.

Defence solicitor Daniel Hanahoe said it was the case’s first listing in court. Judge McNamara noted the charge and that the defence were asking for an order for disclosure of evidence.

Detective Sergeant Michael Mulligan told Judge McNamara that the DPP has directed summary disposal. This means the case could be dealt with at district court level and not sent forward to the circuit court, which has tougher sentencing powers.

However, a final ruling on the trial venue has yet to be made.

Judge McNamara asked if the defence wanted the jurisdiction issue to be decided, however Mr Hanahoe asked for that not to be done at this stage. He was a granted an adjournment until 5 May next to allow gardai time to provide disclosure of evidence.

Mr Usanga, who was accompanied to court by his mother, has not yet entered a plea to the charge.

An outline of the facts may be heard on the next date when the judge will decide on the trial venue issue. He did not address the court but nodded to his solicitor when the judge announced his next court date.

Nigerian born Mr Usanga previously appeared in TV3’s Red Rock series and has also appeared as a fitness trainer on RTE’s The Today Show presented by Daithí O Se and Maura Derrane on a number of occasions.

A former Bscene model, he also appeared in Jennifer Maguire’s dating series, One Night Stand, in 2010. He formerly worked at FX Fitness, in Santry, north Dublin.

Judge McNamara granted him free legal aid after she was furnished with a statement of his means and noted he is currently unemployed.

Comments are disabled on this article as it concerns an ongoing legal case

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Tom Tuite

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