Boxer fined for TV row assault
Published 17/04/2014 | 14:02
A boxer who won a silver medal at the London Olympics has admitted assaulting a reveller at a lap-dancing club after a row over cult reality TV show The Valleys.
Birmingham Magistrates' Court heard that Cardiff-based welterweight Fred Evans teamed up with a friend, Danny Butler, to launch a "gratuitous and unprovoked" attack which left their victim unconscious.
Evans, 23, of Old St Mellons, was fined £435 and ordered to pay £250 of costs for his "limited" role in the assault on Sam Robinson.
Mr Robinson, thought to be aged in his 20s, was battered around the head and knocked to the floor on February 23 this year, moments after arguing with Butler about the merits of MTV's The Valleys.
Butler, of Gloucester Road, Corse, Gloucestershire, was jailed for 10 weeks for his part in the attack, and also ordered to serve four weeks of a previous suspended sentence imposed for a similar offence.
Both Evans and Butler, aged 20, had pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing but admitted common assault after viewing CCTV footage of the attack prior to today's proceedings.
Opening the facts against the two men, prosecutor Jim Mason told magistrates Mr Robinson had travelled to Birmingham's Legs 11 club from the Peterborough area with a group of friends.
Mr Mason told the court: "Whilst at the bar, Mr Robinson began talking to two men who he quickly discovered were from Wales.
"As he spoke to the two men he noticed that one of the two seemed to get somewhat upset following a discussion about The Valleys television show.
"To prevent the matter escalating, he decided to leave the scene and went to the toilet.
"No sooner had he got into the toilet that he was struck to the back of the head and he fell to the floor.
"He was then hit to his nose and jaw and says at that point he passed out."
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Robinson, who is facing dental surgery likely to cost around £3,000, said he felt his attackers had "behaved like animals" for a silly reason.
Gavin Rofer, defending Evans, said the boxer was deeply remorseful and had consumed "quite a lot of alcohol" at the time of his "extremely limited" part in the assault.
The solicitor claimed The Valleys did not paint the Welsh population in a particularly favourable light, and said the victim's comments about the programme had "not found favour" with either defendant.
The court heard Evans had no previous convictions, and an "exemplary" record as a boxer, having taken up the sport aged four.
Mr Rofer told JPs: "He won the European Championships in 2007 and 2011 on an amateur basis, he was Commonwealth champion in 2010, and he has won the Four Nations championships every year since he was 10."
Evans, who landed a silver medal in the welterweight division at London 2012, recently became engaged to his fiancee, and receives a grant to train as an amateur boxer.
During his mitigation to the court, Mr Rofer said: "It is accepted that Mr Evans' role is extremely limited. This was not a fight of his own making.
"He has never found himself before any court in relation to any sort of proceedings, he comes before you entirely of good character.
"It seems fairly clear that the events of that evening had a background of being in an establishment where, putting it kindly, exuberance was at its foremost."
Evans, who left court without comment, was ordered to pay a £43 victim surcharge and £500 in compensation to Mr Robinson.
Mr Robinson also declined to make any comment following the case.