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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 4°C
# Lions 2013
Welsh prop fined for Lions pub assault
“I hope you recover from your injuries and I’m truly sorry,” Craig Mitchell told a court earlier.

A COURT SENTENCED Welsh international rugby player Craig Mitchell to a suspended six-month jail term today for an unprovoked pub assault after a British and Irish Lions game in Australia.

Mitchell, who has made 15 appearances for Wales, was also fined Aus$1,800 and had to pay solicitor Cian Barry Aus$3,000 in 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. The Welshman, 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 had travelled to Australia to watch the Test match.

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

Mitchell, who plays club rugby for the Exeter Chiefs, was to leave Australia after having his passport returned. Exeter announced today that Mitchell will face disciplinary action.

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“Exeter Rugby Club deeply regrets that one of its employees has faced court action in relation to their personal behaviour,” the club said in a statement on exeterchiefs.co.uk.

“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 unwarranted 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.

“Craig will now be subject to an internal disciplinary hearing within the club.”

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