A bouncer accused of illegally accessing CCTV footage of England rugby star Mike Tindall in a bar has pleaded not guilty.
Jonathan Dixon, 40, appeared before Queenstown District Court in New Zealand today.
A plea of not guilty was entered and Dixon was remanded on continuing bail until October 17, a spokeswoman for the court said.
Dixon is charged with accessing a computer for dishonest purpose after footage showing England centre Tindall with a woman at a Queenstown bar was leaked to the press.
In a reversal of previous statements, Tindall yesterday admitted that he had lied about what happened next on the night the CCTV footage was filmed.
Tindall, who married the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips this summer, was originally caught on camera at Queenstown’s Altitude bar last month after the management had given the England squad time off.
Reports emerged last week that he had then gone on to a second bar called Cowboys, where he was allegedly spotted with a blonde woman.
The claims were denied on September 24 by media lawyer Julian Pike, of Farrer & Co, speaking on behalf of Tindall and his wife.
But yesterday public relations company Juniper Sport, which represents the player, said it could no longer stand by that denial and issued an apology on the player’s behalf.
In a statement given to the Mail On Sunday, the PR firm said: “Mike Tindall gave his PR consultants and the Rugby Football Union his assurance that he had not attended the Cowboys bar, having left the Altitude bar.
“In good faith, his PR consultants, the RFU and the RFU’s solicitors relied upon that assurance when dealing with last week’s story.
“However, Mike now accepts that his recollection was incorrect and he apologises unreservedly for this misjudgment.”
The new twist to England’s off-the-field difficulties was compounded by more scandalous revelations as it emerged that three England rugby players had been forced to apologise to a Dunedin hotel worker.
England manager Martin Johnson said he was “angry” at James Haskell, Dylan Hartley and Chris Ashton for teasing a female hotel employee with lewd comments.
According to the Sunday Mirror, Annabel Newton, 23, said the three England players “treated me with no respect” after she was called into a hotel room to retrieve her walkie-talkie.
Johnson said: “I was angry with them. It is just the sort of thing we have talked about.
“What they thought was humour and a light-hearted exchange has clearly not been taken that way by Annabel, the girl involved.
“At the time they apologised when they realised they had stepped over the mark.”
The weekend’s revelations follow last week’s “ballgate” scandal, when England were found to have illegally switched balls in the game against Romania but avoided a potential points deduction after banning two members of Johnson’s back-room team.