Big sin-bin for league player

STREET BRAWLER

A PROMISING rugby league player has been jailed for at least four months for his part in a street brawl.

The now 18-year-old can’t be named because he was a minor when the brawl broke out in the early hours of January 12 in Tamworth.

In sentencing in Tamworth Local Court this week, Magistrate Roger Prowse said because the teenager had pleaded guilty to affray, he would be punished for the actions of his 

co-accusers as well. “It’s not just your conduct, it’s the conduct of the others you were in the company of,” he said.

The court detailed the man’s involvement in the street brawl after he chased after the victim who tried to run away across the road.

“You also laid the boot in,” Magistrate Prowse said while the victim was being punched and kicked on the ground.

“Anything other than a full-time custodial sentence is an absolute abrogation of the court’s duty.”

Solicitor Fiona Hadlington told the court her client was in the sights of a major rugby league club and any jail sentence could stop him in his tracks.

“They have said to him words to the effect that if you get sent to jail then you can kiss goodbye any opportunities,” she told the court.

But Magistrate Prowse retaliated, asking what opportunity did “the one that he kicked and punched have?”

Ms Hadlington said there was no question of the seriousness of the offences, but because the accused had casual work she requested a suspended control order as punishment.

“Yes he does punch and he does kick the victim once,” she told the court.

“He is a young man that I say to Your Honour, has potential.”

Magistrate Prowse slammed the actions of the teenager which he said was “unwarranted” and “unprovoked ... on the streets you are a participant”.

“This offending is far too grave for you to be given a suspended sentence ... engaging in a serious punch- up like this,” he said.

The accused was sentenced to 10 months’ jail with a non-parole period of four months, meaning he will be eligible for release in August.

Two other men have been jailed for their part in the brawl while another will be sentenced later this month.

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