<
>

Sandow to speak out against violence after escaping conviction

Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Former NRL star Chris Sandow has escaped a conviction over a New Year's Day brawl after agreeing to speak out against violence.

Sandow was captured on video fighting on the street in Cherbourg, Queensland, in defence of his non-blood related "brother", who was allegedly threatened by other men the night before.

The 27-year-old was fined $300 after pleading guilty to a public nuisance charge in the Murgon Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Sandow avoided a conviction after he agreed to magistrate Andrew Hackett's unorthodox request that he become a community spokesman for conflict resolution in Cherbourg, stating he had the potential to be the next Johnathan Thurston.

"You hold a position in the community of pre-eminence," Mr Hackett said.

"I think you are a leader, leaders lead - fighting is not leading.

"Don't just play for yourself, it's what JT (Johnathan Thurston) does."

Sandow spent the next 40 minutes hiding inside court and declined an invitation to comment on the magistrate's gesture.

He could also be seen pretending to leave and taking photos of waiting media.

The fallen halfback then fled out a back door and then drove his black sedan past the cameras who were still waiting out front and blasting the horn.

Sandow returned to Australia last year after quitting his English Super League club Warrington because he was homesick, with Wolves chief executive Tony Smith labelling him "a pain" following his departure.

He had previously played for Parramatta and South Sydney in the NRL.