RL star admits assaulting drug tester

editorial image

A Leigh Centurions star has admitted a charge of common assault in relation to an incident involving a drug tester at his home last year.

Sam Barlow had been due to stand trial at Bradford Crown Court this week on charges of perverting the course of justice and falsely imprisoning Mark Dean.

But after further pre-trial discussions the 28-year-old forward’s guilty plea to the common assault charge was accepted by the prosecution.

The allegations related to an incident at Barlow’s home in Garside Drive, Illingworth, last July, but Judge Jonathan Rose said he would not now face a trial on those matters.

Barrister Guy Gomez QC, for Barlow, said it was the “principal plank” of his client’s mitigation that the player’s conduct that night was “in no way designed to avoid the test”.

Mr Gomez said Barlow would accept, in the most general terms, that his behaviour must have been intimidating to Mr Dean given that Mr Dean is a man of 5ft 9in tall and the defendant, on any view, is a big, powerful man who became extremely frustrated. Mr Gomez said his client’s behaviour did not amount to any physical touching of Mr Dean.

Judge Rose heard that Barlow was due to appear at a drug panel hearing on June 6 with a judgement likely to be given 14 days later.

The judge told Barlow that he had pleaded guilty to a serious matter which could carry a maximum prison sentence of six months.

But Judge Rose said he was adjourning sentence on him because he wanted to know the outcome of the hearing next month and he also needed a report from the probation service which would give more information about suitable disposals for the case.

It is expected that Barlow’s sentence hearing will take place between June 27 and July 29.