A SEMI-professional rugby player who used a rugby ‘hand-off’ move to the faces of two police officers who stopped him in Wrexham town centre has abandoned an appeal against his sentence.
Francis Emrys Meredydd , 19, who plays for the North Wales regional team, RGC, was said to be so drunk that he had little recollection of the incident.
Meredydd, of Holt Road, Wrexham, had admitted two charges of assault on police when he appeared before magistrates.
At that stage he was placed on a 12-month community order, ordered to carry out 80 hours’ unpaid work and attend 10 alcohol counselling sessions.
Magistrates had ordered him to pay £100 compensation to each of the two officers.
He appealed against the sentence at Mold Crown Court but part-way through the hearing he abandoned his appeal after the judge, the Recorder John Philpotts, asked if he was aware of the power of the court – which meant that the sentence could be increased as well as being reduced.
Following a break, Meredydd applied to abandon appeal against sentence and was ordered to pay an additional £100 costs.
The judge told him that he did not know who had advised him to pursue an appeal against the original sentence but he had been very wise to accept the advice of his barrister, Michael Davies.
Meirion Lewis-Jones, prosecuting, said that the assault happened during the early hours of February 3 when CCTV operators alerted police officers to an incident in Vicarage Hill, involving Meredydd and another person.
Police arrived but Meredydd ran off towards the High Street and Hope Street.
Two officers in another vehicle had been alerted and they approached him but the defendant ran towards them.
One officer stood in his way and told him to stop but Meredydd used the ‘hand-off’ move to his face, knocking his head back.
He was temporarily disabled and the second officer, who had drawn his baton, was subjected to the same blow to the face.
But the officer struck Meredydd to the arm and then to the leg with the baton and the pair were able to grab him.
The defendant was a strong, tall and fit rugby player who used “considerable resistance” against the officers, the court hear.
Interviewed, Meredydd said that he had drunk significant quantities of alcohol and could not recall much about the incident.
He wanted to run away from the police because he had been in trouble before, he said.
That was in December 2012 when he was placed on a community order and told to pay £500 compensation for a previous assault.
Mr Davies said Meredydd was currently injured and could not work.
His mother was paying off the previous penalty on the basis that the defendant would pay her back when he was working.
He did not claim benefits although Mr Davies said that he would be entitled to them.
“He has no money at the moment,” he explained.