Rugby star Craig Mitchell ordered to pay compensation to man he punched in Australian bar

 

A Wales rugby player who punched a man in an Australian hotel bar while celebrating a British and Irish Lions win must pay thousands of pounds in compensation to his victim.

Craig Mitchell, 27, who has represented his country in 15 rugby union tests, had travelled to Australia to watch the Lions Tour when the fight broke out on Sunday at the Normanby Hotel in Brisbane, following the British and Irish team's first test win against the country.

He was given a six month prison sentence suspended for two years and fined £1,180 over the attack, as well as ordered to pay £1,966 in compensation to lawyer Cian Barry.

Speaking at his sentencing today at Brisbane Magistrates' Court, he apologised to Mr Barry, saying: "My actions ... were totally unacceptable and unforgivable."

But after the case Mr Barry said Mitchell should have been jailed, and said the apology meant nothing.

The court was told Mr Barry had been trying to smooth over an altercation between his friends and a group of Lions supporters after some jovial sporting banter turned serious, the Associated Press reported.

He was first punched by Welsh tourist Richard Andrew Davies, and then by Mitchell, who travelled to Australia to watch the game after taking part in their two-Test series with Japan earlier this month.

Magistrate Anne Thacker yesterday fined Davies £654 and ordered him to pay Mr Barry £1,310 in compensation.

She told Mitchell he needed to be made an example of.

"It has to deter other Australians from this sort of behaviour at football matches," she said.

Mitchell's lawyer John Cook said he could not say what implications it would have for his client's playing career, but he had received his passport back and was free to leave the country.

"We're in a position now where he wants to head off, he's had a night in the watch house, he had very little sleep and was obviously very anxious because a term of imprisonment (was possible)," he said.

Mitchell, who admitted aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm, spent last night in custody ahead of his sentencing after he expressed reservations about paying compensation at short notice.

The prop joined Exeter from the Ospreys on an initial two-year contract in 2011, and signed a one-year extension to his deal with the Aviva Premiership club last season.

Exeter and the Welsh Rugby Union declined to comment on the matter when contacted by Press Association Sport.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executive - Call Centre Jobs

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003