South East Wales

Rugby player fined £1,000 for hitting referee

Karim Cosslett Image copyright Athena Pictures
Image caption Referee Karim Cosslett ran for safety to the changing room to avoid further assaults

A rugby player who hit a referee as a game ended has been fined £1,000 and banned from playing for 22 months.

Louis Jones, 27, of Cardiff, accused referee Karim Cosslett of cheating before jumping on his back and hitting him in the ribs.

Mr Cosslet had been officiating between Fairwater RFC, who Jones played for, and Wattstown RFC, who won the game 22-11 with a last-minute penalty.

Jones admitted assault by beating at Merthyr Magistrates' Court.

The court heard Mr Cosslett had sent off a Fairwater player for violent play before awarding Wattstown a penalty in the dying seconds of the game in the Welsh Rugby Union bowl match last October.

Jones assaulted the referee while he was still on the field. Mr Cosslett shook Jones off before running for safety to the changing room to avoid further assaults.

Abuse

However Fairwater RFC players carried on abusing him, saying his decisions in the final few minutes had cost them the game.

Jones was fined £1,000, and ordered to pay £500 costs, £100 victim surcharge and £150 compensation.

The Welsh Rugby Union gave him a 96-week ban from playing.

The court heard Jones had previously been sent off for striking an opponent.

Mr Cosslett said he could not comment about the incident.

A WRU spokesman confirmed Jones had received a lengthy ban for attacking the referee in the game last October.

A spokesman said: "The WRU disciplinary panel convened on the 22nd December 2017 to review this incident.

"The player in question received a 96-week ban in accordance with WRU regulations."

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