Leeds rugby player faces jail for on pitch assault

An amateur rugby league player will be sentenced next month after he admitted punching an opponent in an “off-the-ball” incident.

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court

Al Rawi, who had no previous convictions, had been due to stand trial over the incident at the St John’s Road ground in Utley, but today he entered a guilty plea to a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm after his lawyer asked Judge David Hatton QC for an indication as to the maximum sentence.

The judge told lawyer Sean Smith that if he was dealing with the case it would undoubtably result in a sentence of imprisonment, but he would consider very seriously whether that needed to be served immediately.

Bradford Crown Court heard that following the attack Mr Palmer, 21, had to undergo surgery to insert a metal plate in his face and prosecutor Alisha Kaye said even now he was still suffering from some temporary blurred vision in his right eye.

Judge Hatton told Al Rawi that a report would have to be prepared by the probation service before he could be sentenced and he released him on bail until his next hearing on March 4.

The judge said he was reserving the sentence hearing to himself.

Queens ARLC are currently top of the Pennine League Premier Division.