Ex-rugby star Stuart Hogg avoids jail over texts to wife

Former Scotland rugby captain Stuart Hogg has breached a court order to avoid contact with his estranged wife by sending her "unpleasant" text messages.

However, the 32-year-old avoided jail after being granted bail to allow him to travel to France later this month and join up with his new club Montpellier.

Mr Hogg spent a night in police cells before an appearance at Jedburgh Sheriff Court, where he pled guilty to repeatedly contacting his wife Gillian.

Sentence was deferred until the outcome of a domestic abuse trial later this month, which includes a charge of stalking and controlling behaviour towards his wife over a seven year period.

Sheriff James McCarron said that due to Hogg's lack of previous convictions he was persuaded to release him on bail.

He told Hogg that if there was any repetition of his behaviour then it was "highly unlikely" he would be granted bail in the future.

The bail also allows the player attend his brother's wedding.

Sheriff McCarron added: "Let there be no doubt - no contact means no contact, invited or otherwise."

'Abusive' messages

Mr Hogg had been in contact after Gillian Hogg initially contacted him to discuss financial issues.

The court heard that Mr Hogg had been drinking alcohol and "feeling emotional" when he next contacted his wife between 26 June and 30 June after seeing a social media video she had posted.

India McLean, prosecuting, said the messages could be described as "abusive", while defence lawyer Mat Patrick admitted they were "unpleasant" to read.

He argued that the messages were "not threatening" and that Mr Hogg now understands how serious his situation is as he has "had a night in the cells - he has never had that experience before."

The case was continued until 15 July.

Stalking charge

Mr Hogg was granted bail to his brother's home address in Hawick and warned of the consequences if he contacted his estranged wife again.

He previously pled not guilty to a charge of stalking and also an offence under section one of the Domestic Abuse Scotland Act relating to his behaviour towards his wife.

He was arrested in February at his wife's home for allegedly causing her fear and alarm.

He is facing a number of allegations, including that he acted aggressively to his wife, accused her of infidelity, repeatedly tracked her movements and monitored her communication with others over several years.

The father-of-four unexpectedly retired from the sport last summer and was awarded an MBE in the 2024 New Year Honours for services to rugby union.

He has since come out of retirement to sign a two-year contract with Montpellier, which the court heard would provide him with a source of income.