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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Cumbrian rugby coach 'deeply regrets' attacking man at sports pitch

A Workington Town rugby coach “deeply regrets” punching and kicking another man at a sports pitch.

Craig Barker photo
Craig Barker

Magistrates handed Craig Barker a community order and told him to pay nearly £900 in costs and compensation after he was found guilty of attacking Jason McMullan.

The incident happened in Maryport on the evening of September 19 last year.

Barker, an assistant coach at the Championship side, had originally denied the charge.

But the 38-year-old, of Cavendish Street, Workington, was found guilty of assault by beating following a trial at West Allerdale Magistrates’ Court.

The Crown Prosecution Service said Barker “launched an attack on his victim, punching and kicking him” at the Astro Turf pitches at Netherhall School.

Workington Town bosses confirmed that Barker would receive their support.

The club said: “Craig has kept the club informed throughout.

“It was a heat of the moment incident which we know Craig deeply regrets.”

Barker was landed with a three-month curfew, which means he must remain at his home between 9pm and 8am daily and must also wear an electronic tag.

He was ordered to pay £200 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge, costs of £620, totalling £880.

Craig ‘Butch’ Barker is a former Workington Town forward who became a coach at the club 10 years ago.

He joined the coaching team at amateur rugby league outfit West Cumbria Crusaders, based in Maryport, a year later.

Barker then became part of the coaching staff at the Workington Town Academy before being namedan assistant coach at the club.

He has also stood in as caretaker coach on several occasions – most recently following the departure of head coach Gary Charlton last month.

Barker led Workington Town to their first Championship victory of the season last Sunday – an 18-6 win over Swinton Lions.

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