Rugby league players seen brawling with Father Christmases

TWO professional rugby league players were caught on camera brawling in a town centre with a group of men dressed as Father Christmas in the early hours of Christmas Day.

A court heard Richard Owen and Ben Blackmore were involved in a clash with a group in festive costume after one had his hat stolen.

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Leeds Crown Court was shown footage of the fight involving six men.

Castleford Tigers players Owen and Blackmore, who has since joined Huddersfield Giants, 
and their friend Steven Hayes 
were involved in the ruck with Matthew Laycock, Jonathan Seward and David Stevenson.

Blackmore, 19, of Borrowdale Drive, Castleford, was given a six-month suspended sentence and ordered to do 120 hours’ unpaid work; Hayes, 22, of Queens Park Drive, Castleford: eight-month suspended sentence and 150 hours; Seward, 23, of Weeland Road, Goole: six-month suspended sentence, 120 hours and £500 costs; Stevenson, 30, of Baghill Lane, Pontefract: 12-month community order, 100 hours and £500 costs; Laycock, 25, of Bird Lane, Hensall: 12-month community order, 80 hours and £500 costs. Owen still faces charges of affray and causing grievous bodily harm and will appear in court again on November 6.