France rugby prop Haouas sentenced to new prison term for assault

30 Jun 2023 07:42pm
France's prop Mohammed Haouas attends a training session in Marcoussis. - Photo by Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP
France's prop Mohammed Haouas attends a training session in Marcoussis. - Photo by Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP

MONTPELLIER - France rugby prop Mohamed Haouas on Friday received his second prison sentence in two months as he was given an 18-month term, nine of them suspended for aggravated assault.

The 29-year-old's punishment comes a month after he was sentenced to a year in jail for having hit his wife.

His sentence on Friday will more than likely result in him having to go to jail, said his lawyer Marc Gallix, who added he would appeal.

Gallix conceded the sentence of the court for the offence committed in 2014 "was not harsh" because "one sees clearly that he is the most involved, that he inflicts the most aggressive punches."

"If one adds the nine months from today's judgement to the 12 months for the marital violence, if I do not appeal and the punishment is definitive, he will go to prison," added Gallix.

Gallix said he hoped that by appealing Haouas could serve his one-year sentence out of prison either by wearing an electronic bracelet or due to parental duties as he has a child aged under 10, the appeal court could take two years to issue a decision.

Haouas's latest problems emanated from a brawl he and around a dozen friends became involved in with a nightclub owner outside a bakery on January 1, 2014 after emerging from a discotheque.

The prosecutor compared Haouas and his five co-accused of acting like a "pack of wolves" and that Haouas had been their leader.

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The judge deciding on how he serves his year's sentence for assaulting his wife is due to deliver the decision in the autumn.

Gallix said it would be preferable if Haouas should not wear a bracelet and instead was out on parental duties whereby he could also undergo psychological counselling and a marital violence awareness course.

This would permit the 16-times capped prop to "exercise his profession," said Gallix.

Haouas is due to play for Top 14 side Clermont next term, the club lost a case on Monday demanding that his contract be cancelled.

They have the right to appeal.

It is quite a fall from grace for Haouas who for a while was undisputed first choice for France head coach Fabien Galthie.

He even regained his place in the squad after receiving a suspended 18-month sentence in 2022 for his role in a series of burglaries in 2014.

However, following his conviction for assaulting his wife, Galthie told him there was no possibility of him being selected for the squad for the Rugby World Cup which takes place later this year and is being hosted by France.

Haouas had already blotted his copybook on two occasions on the pitch for France, twice being sent off in Six Nations matches with Scotland the latter one earlier this year. - AFP