NRL star cops suspended sentence for drunken rampage

Raiders player Jack Wighton arriving at ACT Magistrates court in Canberra.
Raiders player Jack Wighton arriving at ACT Magistrates court in Canberra.

CANBERRA Raiders fullback Jack Wighton has been given a two-month suspended jail sentence and fined $3500 for his late-night rampage in February.

Wighton, 25, pleaded guilty in June to two charges of assault occasioning bodily harm, three counts of common assault and one charge of public urination.

The Raiders ace, who has played 130 NRL games, appeared for sentencing in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

He was convicted on the charges and given a 12-month good behaviour bond.

The court heard they were serious, unprovoked attacks.

The CCTV footage presented in court and released on Wednesday showed Wighton urinating on a public street and assaulting five people during a 20-minute rampage.

Jack Wighton pictured on CCTV footage.
Jack Wighton pictured on CCTV footage.

The footage shows the Raiders star turn violent in three separate incidents. The court heard he headbutted one man, punched another man and then proceed to strike another three men on a public sidewalk.

In one incident, a victim's head was thrown back by a punch and he hit his head on a glass window.

The footage also appears to shown urine stains on the star's pants.

The case was heard in the Galambany Circle Sentencing Court, a specialist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander court within the ACT Magistrates Court.

In July, after viewing CCTV footage, the NRL overruled the Raiders' initial proposed suspension of six NRL games and banned Wighton for 10 matches. He was also fined $30,000 in a decision that infuriated club officials, who unsuccessfully sought a reduction in the penalty in August.

The maximum penalty for assault occasioning actual bodily harm is five years in jail, while common assault also carries a possible two years behind bars.

A jail sentence for Wighton would have further cruelled a Raiders side that has already lost star winger Jordan Rapana for six months after suffering a shoulder injury playing for New Zealand.

Fortunately for Canberra, Wighton's sentence is suspended.