Two years jail: Newcastle Knight Russell Packer sentenced
NEWCASTLE Knights player Russell Packer will swap red and blue for prison greens after being jailed over a "cowardly" attack in Sydney.
The 24-year-old NRL star, who left a man with bone fractures following an assault in Sydney's Martin Place last year, was led out of the Downing Local Court in cuffs on Monday, much to the shock of his partner and legal team.
The Sydney Local Court heard Packer was drunk and refusing to leave a city pub before he bashed a man in the street.
Magistrate Greg Grogan described Packer's actions as deplorable and said it was lucky his victim had not suffered the kind of injuries which had been making headlines of late.
He sentenced Packer to two years jail.
Packer's barrister argued the attack had not been a king hit and said he was unaware the magistrate was even considering jail time.
He immediately launched an appeal.
In a statement released on the Newcastle Knights website, the club confirmed Packer's contract with the NRL was not registered and he had been stood down from all official duties but would make no further comment while the case was still before the courts.
Packer will remain behind bars until his appeal is heard on February 11.