Rugby coach angered by apple tree smashed his neighbour in the face (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Rugby coach angered by apple tree smashed his neighbour in the face
A BURLY rugby coach attacked a neighbour when he snapped after a simmering feud over an apple tree, a court heard.
Shaun Cassidy repeatedly punched Colin Farley in the face when the two men met in the street and exchanged words.
Cassidy, 43, should have been beginning an induction course to start as Middlesbrough College's director of rugby today (Monday, September 9).
Instead, he was facing prison at the nearby Teesside Crown Court after admitting a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
His barrister, David Lamb, said it is not known if his court appearance will have an impact on the job he was due to start.
Cassidy - a former England U21 flanker and player for Newcastle Falcons and Darlington Mowden Park - was spared jail.
Judge Peter Armstrong imposed a community order with supervision, 200 hours of unpaid work and £1,000 damages and costs.
"There are some references which are highly praiseworthy of your behaviour in the past and your current position.
"This sort of behaviour in the street is unacceptable," said the judge. "But I am quite sure it would not have happened without the background between you and your neighbour.
"I have seen the documentation in relation to the history alleged between you, and whilst it indicates that this matter is out of character for you, you have to, I'm afraid, live with your neighbours and curb any temptation to take matters into your own hands."
In an earlier discussion with Mr Lamb, the judge said: "Whatever the rights and wrongs of the background - and I'm not going to hold an inquest - there is a background."
The court heard that Mr Farley, 58, suffered a fractured cheekbone which needed surgery after the clash on January 25.
A witness said Cassidy landed about ten uppercuts, but in a basis of plea, the former sports star said he thought he delivered just two or three blows.
Prosecutor Sue Jacobs told the court: "It is clear from the documentation that there has been a history of ill-feeling between the defendant and the injured party.
"It seems to date back to an incident where an apple tree was trimmed. That seems to have started the ill-feeling which has involved matters being reported to the police."
Mr Lamb said: "He is not sure whether the Middlesbrough College will continue to employ him now he has finally been dealt with."
Comments are closed on this article.