Footballer’s pal ‘threatened to stab me’

Kenny Miller, left, i n action for Rangers against Celtic
Kenny Miller, left, i n action for Rangers against Celtic

A woman said to have been threatened with a knife by a pal of footballer Kenny Miller has denied going back on a police statement.

Stacey O’Donnell (28) allegedly told officers she feared for her life after William Steele ran at her while brandishing a blade.

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard it happened after a heated argument involving Ms O’Donnell and Rangers star Miller’s wife, Laura, at Bothwell restaurant Da Luciano.

However, witness Ms O’Donnell told Michael McIntosh, prosecuting, she couldn’t remember everything she’d said to police and denied ever being afraid of Steele whom she’s known for years.

Steele (36), of Eaglesham, denies running at Ms O’Donnell with a knife in Silverwells Cresent, Bothwell, in September last year and threatening to stab her and her dad, businessman Hugh.

He also denies two charges of attempting to extort a total of £95,000 from members of the O’Donnell family by threatening them at their homes in Bothwell last November.

Ms O’Donnell made a statement to police in November. It was read out in court and described how she was leaving the restaurant with her young child after the row with Mrs Miller.

The alleged incident happened after Rangers had lost 5-1 to Celtic in an SPL game. Miller was at Da Luciano’s with his wife.

In her statement Ms O’Donnell said Steele drew up in his Range Rover, got out and ran towards her.

The statement continued: “He was shouting at me and holding a knife in his hand. I was terrified and told him I was pregnant and shouted at him not to stab me.

“Kenny Miller ran towards us, shouting ‘Billy, you’re an idiot. What are you doing? Get in the car’.

“He seemed to listen to Kenny, put the knife away and got into the car with Kenny and Laura.

“They drove off and he shouted out of the window ‘You and your dad are getting stabbed tonight’.

“Initially I didn’t give a statement because I was terrified about what he would do. I was in fear of my life.

“I have never felt so scared. He was less than a metre away from me.”

Asked about her statement, Ms O’Donnell told Mr McIntosh she hadn’t lied to the police, but she couldn’t remember everything she had said and couldn’t agree with all that had been recorded.

She insisted Steele didn’t have a knife and that she wasn’t “terrified”, merely annoyed that she was getting involved in a confrontation in the presence of her child. She also denied that he had threatened to stab her and her dad, but couldn’t explain how all of this had made its way into the police statement.

Ms O’Donnell rejected a claim by Mr McIntosh that her dad had instructed her not to tell the court what really happened.

The prosecutor said: “You have come to court determined to avoid questions that might incriminate Billy Steele.

“This is because your father is someone who would rather sort out this kind of thing by himself.”

The trial before Sheriff Ray Small and a jury continues.