Pryce escapes jail term for hitting coach with glass

Leon Pryce, Bradford's Great Britain utility player, is free to continue his career after avoiding a jail sentence for unlawful wounding.

Pryce had already pleaded guilty to injuring a former Bradford coach, Edward McGuinness, who is now on the staff at Salford, by hitting him in the face with a glass during an argument in a bar last September. He was sentenced to 120 hours of community service and said afterwards that he was "just happy" to have the case resolved.

Pryce, who was part of Great Britain's squad against New Zealand last year but left out against Australia last time, had told Teesside Crown Court that he had lashed out after McGuinness had grabbed him by the throat. The court also heard that McGuinness had not reported the matter for a month and had demanded £40,000 not to press charges.

Nigel Edwards, defending, said that the 22-year-old Pryce's career "would effectively be over" if he was given a custodial sentence. Two Leeds players, Ryan Bailey and Chev Walker, were both sent to young offenders' institutions earlier this year for their parts in a brawl outside a nightcclub.

Pryce is now free to prepare for next season, which is likely to begin for him with the World Club Challenge against Penrith on 13 February.

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