Rugby star Colin Wilkinson avoids jail over fraud
A former Irish rugby star turned insurance broker who illegally enabled clients to get cheaper health cover has walked free from court after his jail term was suspended.
Former full back Colin Wilkinson (51) – who played for Ulster and once for Ireland – pleaded guilty to seven charges of obtaining a pecuniary advantage for himself or another between October 2003 and November 2005.
Belfast Judge Gordon Kerr QC said that while Wilkinson's crime automatically deserved a custodial sentence, given Wilkinson's guilty plea and the vintage of the offences, he would suspend the sentence for two years.
Defence lawyer Eilis McDermott said that the case represented "a significant fall from grace" for Wilkinson.