Chase avoids jail
Tigers star faces anxious wait over visa renewal
Last Updated: 12/08/11 2:26pm
Chase: Handed suspended prison sentence
Castleford stand-off Rangi Chase has arrived back in England after being handed a suspended prison sentence in Australia.
The 25-year-old was given a suspended two-year jail term at a Gold Coast court for his part in a pub brawl that left a man with a fractured jaw.
Appearing in Southport Magistrates Court under his birth name of Moutoa Lance Chase, the Tigers' in-form playmaker admitted one count of grievous bodily harm stemming from the incident in November 2008.
Crown prosecutor Marie Arace asked for three years' actual jail time but Judge Katherine McGinness ordered a two-year term of imprisonment, fully suspended, citing Chase's good work in the English community and his position as a role model.
She accepted the defence's assertion that Chase was "brought up in circumstances of extreme poverty and violence" and applauded him for turning his life around after arriving on the Gold Coast as a teenager.
He had stints with NRL clubs Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra before joining the Tigers shortly after the 2008 incident.
Chase did not talk to reporters outside the court but defence lawyer Campbell McCallum said his client was deeply remorseful and would pay $10,000 Australian dollars compensation to Adam Tibaldi, who spent four days in hospital and had to have metal plates and screws inserted in his face.
Mr McCallum said Chase was contracted to Castleford until 2015 but faced an anxious wait for a visa renewal next year, with the incident and a suspended jail sentence now hanging over his head.
Chase, who was in the Castleford side beaten 10-8 by Leeds in the Challenge Cup semi-finals last weekend, has been named in the Tigers' 19-man squad for Friday's Super League match against the Rhinos but is not expected to play.