Brawling Welshman escapes jail
A court sentenced Welshman Craig Mitchell to a suspended six month jail term for an unprovoked pub assault after a B&I Lions game.
A court sentenced Welshman Craig Mitchell, an international player, to a suspended six month jail term Friday for an unprovoked pub assault after a British and Irish Lions game.
Mitchell, who has made 15 appearances for Wales, was also fined AU$1,800 (US$1667) fine and had to pay solicitor Cian Barry AU$3,000 (US$2778) compensation after knocking him out with a single punch.
Mitchell, 27, admitted wading into an altercation between fans that Barry was trying to calm down at a Brisbane bar in the early hours of last Sunday after the Lions beat the Wallabies.
Mitchell, who pleaded guilty to aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm, apologised in court describing his actions as "totally unacceptable and unforgivable".
"I hope you recover from your injuries and I'm truly sorry," he told Barry.
The solicitor, who needed stitches to his face, told reporters outside the court that Mitchell should have been put behind bars.
"It was horrendous. It was unprovoked violence, everyone's had enough of it."
Barry was first punched by Welsh tourist Richard Andrew Davies, and then by Mitchell, who travelled to Australia to watch the Test match.
Mitchell, who plays for the Exeter Chiefs, was to leave Australia after having his passport returned.
Davies was fined AU$1,000 on Thursday and ordered to pay Barry AU$2,000 compensation.
* Meanwhile the Exeter Chiefs revealed that he will face a disciplinary hearing with the club.
The club issued the following statement:
"Exeter Rugby Club deeply regrets that one of its employees has faced court action in relation to their personal behaviour.
"The club does not condone law breaking of any kind and will continue to stress with all of its employees the importance of acting as positive ambassadors - even in difficult and unwanted circumstances.
"Craig Mitchell wishes to express his remorse not only to the victim and those involved in the incident, but also to Exeter Rugby Club, the Welsh Rugby Union and his family."
The club or player himself will not be making any further comment on the matter.