HUDDERSFIELD Giants star Darrell Griffin has been ordered to do 90 hours’ community service after assaulting a woman.
The rugby league player dragged the woman from a taxi after celebrating a Giants win.
District Judge Jonathan Bennett heard how the prop forward, who is 6ft 6ins tall and weighs more than 18 stone, had been celebrating a pre-season friendly win against Batley.
In the early hours of January 28, Griffin and two friends got into a taxi which had stopped at red lights.
Helen Metcalfe and her friend Mark Braithwaite were in the taxi at the time and there was friendly banter between the five.
But after the taxi driver asked Griffin and his friends to get out, Griffin pulled Miss Metcalfe from the taxi and flung her to the ground.
He pleaded guilty to the charge of common assault by beating at Huddersfield Magistrates on May 9.
Sentencing was adjourned until yesterday for the Probation Service to conduct reports.
District Judge Jonathan Bennett said: “It is the kind of offence that happens with regularity but one which the public are growing concerned about these days.
“I accept that it was out of character but it is an aggravating feature that you pulled her out of the taxi.
“Fortunately, her injuries were relatively minor.”
Rosie Hinchliff, prosecuting, said: “There was an altercation between the taxi driver and the other people, he wanted [Griffin] and his friends to get out.
“It was then Helen Metcalfe said: “Listen mate, I’ve got to work in the morning, please get out because I’ve got to get home to bed.”
“He admits and accepts he pulled her out of the taxi and may have caused slight bruising to her arm, but he doesn’t accept he caused any other injury.”
John Mitchell, defending, said it was out of character for Griffin to behave in that way.
He said: “He is not someone who goes round throwing his weight about and causing problems.
“He says that the lady poked him in the face; it was then he did what he did.
“He apologised straight away and it seemed to him that it had all been sorted out.
“He realises he brought this on himself and he is very sorry indeed for his actions.”
Griffin, of Poppy Lane, Wakefield, has no previous convictions.
He fears his conviction could now have a negative affect on his future employment.
Mr Mitchell added: “He has three or four years left at the top level and is looking at what he can do after he finishes his career.
“There are possibilities in the fire service, territorial army or the police.
“If he gets a conviction with community service, there is no question whatsoever of doing that.”
Griffin was ordered to do 90 hours’ unpaid work and pay £100 compensation and court costs of £65.