Wales prop escapes jail

Craig Mitchell (AFP)
Craig Mitchell (AFP)

Melbourne - A court sentenced Welshman Craig Mitchell, an international rugby player, to a suspended six month jail term on Friday for an unprovoked pub assault after a British and Irish Lions game.

Mitchell, who has made 15 appearances for Wales, was also fined AUD $1 800 (USD $1 667) fine and had to pay solicitor Cian Barry $3 000 (USD $2 778) 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 club rugby for the Exeter Chiefs, was to leave Australia after having his passport returned.

Davies was fined $1 000 on Thursday and ordered to pay Barry $2 000 compensation.


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