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Player guilty of police assault

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Sale Sharks centre pleads guilty to assaulting police officer

Sale’s Mark Jennings has had his English court case adjourned before sentencing until March 28 so that magistrates can consider medical reports on the state of the midfielder’s mental health.

The 26-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting a police officer and a charge of causing a public order offence by using threatening, abusive and insulting a police officer on February 2.

His club placed him on a long-term sabbatical three days later for the foreseeable future, with coach Steve Diamond saying: “’We wish him well in his recovery process.”

Jennings, who hasn’t played for Sale since an early October appearance against Newcastle and is out of contract this summer, was released on unconditional bail after his lawyer Mark Haslam – who claimed Jennings had been unwell and described the offences as a “very sad case” – asked Kin-Ming Cheng, the chair of magistrates, to review medical reports.

The chair of magistrates agreed to the request, but added that Jennings must make sure he attended the next hearing and warned him not to commit any further offences while on bail.

(Continue reading below…)

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The incident that warranted Jennings’ guilty plea unfolded last month when a 999 call was made to police after the player had allegedly smashed up his luxury home in a drunken rampage

Crown Prosecutor David Morgan said: “At 11pm officers were called to Mr Jennings’ home. He was taken into a separate room by the officer.

“He made comments about the questioning police officers. He resisted being put into hand-cuffs. He head-butted a police officer in the chest. During the journey to the police station he told the officers that he was going to kill them and he told one police officer he was going to rape them.”

Namibian-born Jennings, who joined Sale on his 16th birthday and represented England under-20s, said in February after club agreed to his sabbatical: “I’d like to thank Sale for the opportunity and the understanding to allow me to fully recover away from the club and hopefully return once I’m fully fit.”

Jennings made his Sale debut in 2011/12 and has made 95 appearances. However, he has been injury-prone in recent times and the two-year deal he signed in March 2017 is due to expire at the end of this season.

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Sale Sharks centre pleads guilty to assaulting police officer