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Former Cornish Pirates rugby player spared jail for attacking man

By West Briton  |  Posted: June 21, 2013

  • Richard Carroll


ONE of Cornwall's most colourful and controversial former rugby players broke a man's jaw during an alcohol-fuelled night out in Redruth.

Fisherman Richard Brian Carroll, 37, of Fore Street, Barripper, who used to play semi-professional rugby for Redruth, the Cornish All Blacks and the Cornish Pirates, attacked David Leader after drinking 15 bottles of beer at the Twilight Zone nightclub.

His career ended three years ago when he was banned from the sport for an anti-doping rule violation.

On Tuesday Carroll, right, was given a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, at Truro Crown Court after admitting the assault.

The court heard Carroll had been with rugby friends from Redruth on October 21 last year and drank about 15 bottles of Budweiser – "taking it easy" because he had been on cancer medication.

Nigel Hall, for the prosecution, said Carroll had been friendly with Mr Leader inside the club but as the victim and his friends waited for a taxi outside at 3am, Carroll approached and punched him on the jaw, knocking him off balance, and punched him twice more.

Mr Leader, who was treated for a fractured jaw at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, told police it had been an unprovoked attack which had left him scared to go out.

Carroll claimed Mr Leader had been "mouthy and loud" , but accepted that his action had been mindless.

Carroll had a prior caution for assault and convictions for two drug offences and a public order offence. Chris Spencer, for the defence, maintained he had only hit Mr Leader once, with a backhander. "Carroll said he was wound up, he said it was mindless and ... he was heavy-handed because he was quite big," he said.

"He regretted his actions but said it was provoked by the comments."

Judge John Neligan called it an unprovoked attack that was "so serious that a custodial sentence had to be imposed".

Carroll was also given a supervision order, ordered to attend an alcohol programme and told to pay £100 compensation to Mr Leader.

Judge Neligan added: "Fifteen bottles of beer may not seem a lot to you but it does to me."

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