Coast AFL player guilty of assault

A SUNSHINE Coast AFL player has been found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm after he hit an an opponent during a game.

Noosa  Tigers player Ben James Young, 19 had pleaded not guilty on Monday to assaulting Shannon Smith during a match in Brisbane.

The charge arose from an altercation on June 28 2009 when the Tigers played the Western Magpies in a division one game.

Mr Smith was left with a broken nose, jaw, cheekbone and eye-socket.

The injured player underwent reconstructive surgery to repair his injuries.

Mr Young's solicitor Adam Magill told the Daily last year that AFL was a full-contact sport "where things happen on the field and people get hurt” Mr Magill said.

“Mr Young intended no malice and did not purposely hurt anyone,'' he said.

“The whole flavour of a criminal charge is intent. I have no doubt the charges will be thrown out.”

Mr Magill said his client did not understand the charge and “Mr Young and his family are completely devastated”.

Mr Young fronted the AFLQ's independent tribunal and entered an early plea to a charge of striking. He received a 12-week suspension.

Noosa Tigers officials told the court this week that Mr Young had only performed a legitimate 'tackle and shoulder bump'.

He is expected to be sentenced this afternoon.


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