Hardaker released without charge

Published: Tuesday 17th March 2015 by The News Editor

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England international Zak Hardaker was released by police after admitting assaulting a student, it has emerged.

Leeds announced on Tuesday that their full-back was free to resume playing after West Yorkshire police concluded their investigation into an incident in the city last month.

The 23-year-old Hardaker and his 19-year-old club-mate Elliot Minchella were both questioned by police and have since be en released without charge.

However, it has been revealed that both men admitted the assault and agreed to pay £200 in compensation and write a letter of apology to their 22-year-old victim under a “community resolution”.

In a statement, the Super League club said: ” Leeds Rhinos can confirm that Zak Hardaker and Elliot Minchella have both fully co-operated with the police investigation into an incident in Leeds in February this year.

“Both players have been released without charge and the investigation is now concluded. The Rhinos will continue their internal investigation surrounding the incident however both players will be available for selection this week.”

The club made no reference to the fact that the pair had admitted or been punished for the offence but W est Yorkshire Police confirmed action had been taken.

Det Insp David Roberts, from Leeds CID, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “A 19-year-old man from Bradford and a 23-year-old man from Knottingley voluntarily attended a police station in Leeds on Monday.

“Both men admitted the offence of assault on a 22-year-old man at a student halls of residence on 3 February on Burley Road, Leeds.

“As part of a community resolution, which was an agreed course of action with the victim, each man will pay £200 in compensation to the victim as well as writing a letter of apology.”

The victim suffered black eyes and bruising to his ears and neck in what police described as a “nasty assault” at the Opal One building on Burley Road last month.

Hardaker played in the Rhinos’ opening four matches of the season but made way for teenager Ashton Golding in the 18-6 defeat by Warrington last Friday.

Now he could be set for a recall when Wigan visit Headingley on Friday, although he could still face punishment from his club.

Hardaker was fined £2,500 and given a warning by Leeds for breaching their code of conduct after being thrown out of England’s World Cup squad in 2013 for misconduct.

He also served a five-match ban last June after being found guilty of making homophobic comments to referee James Child during a game at Warrington.

Published: Tuesday 17th March 2015 by The News Editor

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