Colm O’Donoghue cleared of two counts of assault on ex-girlfriend

Top jockey Colm O'Donoghue has been cleared of two counts of assault on his ex-girlfriend.

The sportsman, who has celebrated many top level successes in his career, was found not guilty of the alleged attacks on Jill Macken.

O'Donoghue, who rode a winner for The Queen in 2019, had denied the charges from the start, which dated back to 2018.

The first incident was alleged to have taken place at his home in County Tipperary, Ireland, on October 6 of that year, with the second at the Pillo Hotel in County Meath on November 12.

Carrick-on-Suir district court was shown a WhatsApp from the accuser to O'Donoghue after they split which read: "Now to ruin ur life," the Racing Post reports.

During evidence, it was heard that O'Donoghue was riding in Newmarket on the date of the first allegation.

Solicitor Tracy Horan, who instructed O'Donoghue's legal representative in court, said: "Colm has been emphatically found innocent of causing any harm to Ms Macken.

"The court also heard that Ms Macken cost Colm his entire career, as he could not get employment because of the things she was saying.

"I'm delighted for him. He didn't deserve this. Colm is considering his legal options with regard to a civil case."

In the same year of the allegations, 2018, O'Donoghue was congratulated for his achievements on star horse Alpha Centauri.

He was in the saddle for the filly's four Group 1 triumphs, including the Irish 1,000 Guineas and Royal Ascot's Coronation Stakes.

O'Donoghue has not competed in Ireland or Britain since the autumn of 2019 – and his most recent winner came aboard The Queen's Clarion at Newmarket that summer.

Over the years he has worked for many leading trainers including Aidan O'Brien and Jessica Harrington, winning more than £900,000 on his rides in Britain since 2017.

In 2015, he steered 50-1 shot Qualify to victory in the Investec Oaks at Epsom.

Some of O'Donoghue's other major race wins include the Irish Derby and Secretariat Stakes in 2011, plus the following year's UAE Derby.

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