Lisa Murphy in hat with her solicitor
Lisa Murphy in hat with her solicitor Paul Wright/IBTimes

A woman has appeared in court accused of trying to blackmail former England rugby star Danny Cipriani.

Lisa Murphy, 39, of Northampton, has been charged with making an "unwarranted demand" for money from the 28-year-old sports star, who will be expected to give evidence in court should a trial go ahead.

The alleged offence was said to take place between September and October in 2015.

Murphy, of Montgomery Way, Wootton, appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (24 August) where she spoke only to confirm her name.

She had been charged under the Theft Act 1968 and accused of seeking money from Cipriani "with a view to gain for yourself or another, or with intent to cause loss to another". No further details were given during the hearing and Cipriani was not in attendance.

Murphy was given conditional bail which orders her not to contact Cipriani or her co-defendant. She left the court with her solicitor, covering her face with her hand while wearing a flamboyant hat.

She will next appear with a co-defendant in the case, Violet Smith, at Kingston Crown Court on 20 September where they will enter a plea.

The court case comes as Cipriani is due to start the rugby season with boyhood club Wasps, having returned to the Premiership side following four years playing for Sale Sharks. The fly-half's first game for Wasps in the 2016 Aviva Premiership is on 4 September against Exeter Chiefs.

He made his international breakthrough for England in 2008 but was left out of the 2016 Six Nations squad.

Danny Cipriani
Danny Cipriani would be expected to give evidence in court should the case go for trial Getty