Friday, September 16, 2005

Tussling Tommy

Tommy Craig has been fined after brawling with a man during an early morning gang fight hours before an Owls away match.

Craig, who plays Tommy Harris in Coronation Street, was charged with violent disorder following a confrontation between two groups in the nightclub district of Ipswich.

The 42-year-old was fined £500 and ordered to pay £34 costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Public Order Act at a hearing at South East Suffolk magistrates court.

Police were called to the Cardinal Park area of the town and found two groups aggressively walking towards each other, the court heard.

Prosecutor Lesla Small said officers tried to keep them apart but were unable to do so and fighting broke out.

Police saw two people under the canopy of Hi-Life gym exchanging punches - one of them Craig. As the pair tussled with each other, police intervened and arrested both men.

Craig, an Owls fan from Walkley, admitted exchanging punches with a 23-year-old man at about 3.20am on Saturday August 20, the day of the Owls away match against Ipswich Town, the court heard.

The actor, charged under his real name of Craig Thompson, became involved in the fight because he thought the man was in a van of Ipswich fans who had knocked down his friend on the previous day.

When quizzed by officers at Felixstowe police station he admitted he had been mistaken.

A Suffolk Police source said: "He got involved in disorder while staying over in Ipswich the night before the match between Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday.
We can't say the incident was football-related but you have to wonder if he would have been here if his team wasn't in the city."

Craig, who was staying with friends in the town's Novotel hotel, was said in court to have earned £60,000 last year.

Craig, of All Farthing Lane, London, has since been arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm for allegedly punching a man who was trying to restrain another person 10 minutes before the violent disorder incident. He has been quizzed by police and released on bail pending further inquiries.

When The Star contacted Craig today about the case he said: "Sorry, mate, no comment." His agents Shepherd Management, of London, also refused to comment.

News source: Sheffield Today (edited to remove spoilers)

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