Former New Zealand Warrior Russell Packer will spend the next two years behind bars after pleading guilty to charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and failing to quit a venue.
Presiding magistrate Greg Grogan slammed the actions of Packer which saw him punch and stomp on the face of a motionless victim on the ground during the Martin Place attack which took place in November 2013.
Packer’s legal team will lodge an appeal to the sentence.
The National Rugby League de-registered Packer in December. NRL Chief Operating Officer Jim Doyle released a statement at the time.
“We have also been clear that we will always act on any information that demonstrates behaviour which is contrary to the interests, welfare and image of the NRL.
“While we make no inference in relation to the charges that Russell is facing, our Integrity Unit has reported conduct that leaves us with little choice other than to refuse the application for registration.”
The National Rugby League’s stance on this matter is a warning to any players from now on that bad behaviour off the field won’t be tolerated after a spate of incidents, including current North Queensland Cowboy Robert Lui’s domestic violence on his girlfriend, have tarnished the image of the game over the last few years.
As for Russell Packer it seems the end of the road after playing over one hundred games for the Warriors.