EXCLUSIVE: Leeds Rhinos players admit assault in student flats

This CCTV image was released by police as part of an appeal for information about the incident
This CCTV image was released by police as part of an appeal for information about the incident
  • Zak Hardaker and Elliot Minchella attacked 22-year-old
  • Pair agree to pay £200 in compensation and write apology to victim
  • Club statement: “Both players have been released without charge”
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Two Leeds Rhinos players have admitted attacking a man in student flats in Leeds.

Zak Hardaker, 23, and Elliot Minchella, 19, have agreed to pay £200 in compensation and write a letter of apology to the 22-year-old man under a “community resolution” after admitting assault.

Zak Hardaker

Zak Hardaker

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 was dropped from the team to face Warrington Wolves on Friday after news emerged that he and Minchella were under suspicion.

The club subsequently issued a statement this afternoon (Tuesday) saying that the players had co-operated fully with police inquiries into the incident on February 3 and that they had been released without charge.

The statement 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

Leeds Rhinos statement

“Both players have been released without charge and the investigation is now concluded. The Rhinos will now look to conclude their internal disciplinary investigation 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.

However, West Yorkshire Police confirmed action had been taken.

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

Elliot Minchella

Elliot Minchella

“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.”

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