Assault accused Margam rugby player 'prowled around opposition'
A RUGBY player accused of assaulting his rival was seen “prowling” around the pitch before the incident, a court heard.
Jake David, an 18-year-old flanker for Taibach youth team, denies punching 17-year-old Thomas Hopkins, an Abercrave player, in the dying minutes of a game in October 2011 and causing him grievous bodily harm.
A large fight had broken out between the two teams with 30 seconds to go.
Mr Hopkins said he was stood 20 metres away from that fight and had turned to walk off the field when David, of Morlais Road, Margam, threw a punch to the side of his face.
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On the second day of his trial, David’s police interview was read to Swansea Crown Court. He admitted he had punched Mr Hopkins but said he was acting in self-defence.
He said Mr Hopkins and another Abercrave player came towards him and as the other player pushed him to his chest, he saw Mr Hopkins clench his fist.
His interview read: “He didn’t assault me, but I felt like I was going to be assaulted as he turned and clenched his fist.”
He was told another witness had described him as “prowling around the Abercrave players”, something David denied.
David told police he did not intend to hurt Mr Hopkins.
“I didn’t mean to cause him any injury at all. I am sorry about that. I just feared for my safety,” his statement read.
Medical evidence was also read to the court from Mr Hopkins’s admission to Morriston hospital.
He was admitted for two nights and needed two metal plates inserting into his jaw, the court heard.
The trial continues.