A FORMER Newport RFC player was left more than £7,000 out of pocket after he broke a taxi driver’s nose during a quarrel over a tip.

Alun Williams was convicted by a jury following a trial of causing cabbie Mohammed Ilyas actual bodily harm.

The 56-year-old, of Caerphilly Close, Rhiwderin, Newport, was cleared of racially aggravated actual bodily harm.

The former prop forward struck his victim once, also causing him a black eye.

Mr Ilyas needed hospital treatment for his injuries following the assault last May.


Prosecutor Emma Harris told Cardiff Crown Court how the complainant said in a victim personal statement: “I now live in fear and am scared.”

She added that Williams was a man of previous good character with no previous convictions recorded against him.

David Leathley, representing the defendant, said: “There was some unpleasantness over a tip and over excessive self-defence was used.

“My client had led an exemplary life and has taught rugby skills at metropolitan universities.

“He has carried out charitable work and has raised money for cancer. For two yeas he dressed up as Father Christmas and gave presents to children in hospital.

“Once, he was asked if he had a toy from the Disney film Frozen and he brought out an Elsa doll from his sack and he remembers the happiness on that little girl’s face.”

Mr Leathley added: “This transgression was totally out of character. He is an honourable man who has felt the dishonour of his conviction and that has been a punishment in itself.

“This has been a personal nightmare. He was distressed over the injury he caused to the victim.

“He comforted him with water and invited him to come into his house to tend to his bleeding nose.

“The defendant takes a philanthropic approach to his fellow man. He is a man of generous spirt.”

Judge Richard Williams told Williams: “You were intoxicated. There is no evidence to suggest you are an habitual drunkard.

“This offence was wholly out of character and you have been remorseful. There is substantial personal mitigation.”

The defendant was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay his victim £1,000 in compensation, £4,040 prosecution costs and a £170 surcharge.

Williams was told he must pay the fine within three months or face 21 days in jail.