South East Wales

Man jailed for assault on rugby match announcer Rhys ap William

Rhys ap William in a scene from Pobol y Cwm
Image caption Rhys ap William suffered severe head injuries in the unprovoked attack

A man has been jailed for 12 months for a drunken attack which left the Millennium Stadium's match day rugby announcer with severe head injuries.

Rhys ap William, 37, was knocked unconscious by a single punch while he celebrated a Wales Six Nations win.

Martin Frampton, 24, from Ely, Cardiff, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Jailing him at Cardiff Crown Court, Judge Stephen Hopkins said Frampton had struck without provocation.

Defending, Susan Ferrier told the court her client had tried to help his victim after knocking him to the ground and had "shown contrition and remorse - it was totally out of character".

Image caption Martin Frampton had been drinking heavily before attacking his victim

But the judge said: "The victim was hit so hard that he went down like a sack of potatoes and was rendered unconscious before he hit the ground, and his injuries were life-threatening."

The court heard that Mr ap William, a Welsh television actor who was referred to in court as William Rees-Jones, was found with head injuries near the Admiral Napier pub in Canton, Cardiff, in the early hours of Sunday, 24 February.

He had been celebrating the Wales rugby team's win in Italy when he bumped into Frampton in the street.

Both men had been drinking heavily the court was told, Mr ap William in the Duke of Clarence pub and then the Cameo Club in Pontcanna and Frampton at the Sports Bar in Cardiff city centre.

The street collision led to barging and a verbal exchange and Frampton punching Mr ap William.

Julian Greenwood, prosecuting, said: "He went down like a ninepin and hit the back of his head on the kerb or the road surface.

"He fractured his skull and had bruising and bleeding to the brain and later suffered two seizures.

"The defendant said he had whacked the guy because he would not get out of his face."

Neurosurgical ward

The court heard Mr ap William was treated in a high dependency unit at Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales.

He was later transferred to a neurosurgical ward and discharged after four days in hospital.

CCTV showed Mr ap William falling to the ground and hitting his head with a sound the landlady of the Admiral Napier described as an "awful crack".

Ms Ferrier said both the defendant and Mr ap William had been drinking to excess and did not have a clear recollection of the events.

Judge Hopkins said: "This was night time violence by a drunken young man on another drunken young man without provocation."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites