Five-day trial clears man of attacking Shipston rugby player

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Ben Husthwaite outside court.

A RUGBY-playing former world clay pigeon shooting champion was cleared of breaking an opponent’s jaw in an off-the-ball incident during a match against Shipston-on-Stour.

Ben Husthwaite, from Narborough, had pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to inflicting grievous bodily harm on another rugby player.

Husthwaite plays at number 8 for the Rugby Lions and the incident was alleged to have happened during a game against Shipston-On-Stour.

The charge follows an incident during a one-sided game between the two teams at Shipston’s Mayo Road ground on 20th February last year – which Lions won 55-3.

Husthwaite, who has also captained Rugby Lions, was alleged to have gone over to Alex Watton, Shipston’s tight-head prop, and punched him in an off-the-ball incident, breaking his jaw.

But at the end of a five-day trial, a jury at Coventry Crown Court, found Husthwaite, 39, of Burrows Close, Narborough not guilty.

Although a keen rugby player, Husthwaite is best known as an international clay pigeon marksman.

His international successes began with becoming World Junior Sporting champion and FITASC (Federation Internationale du Tir aux Armes Sportives de Chasse) world champion in 1998.

He has held a number of World, European and British titles in more recent years, including being World Sportrap Champion in 2008, World Sporting Champion in 2010 and World FITASC runner-up in 2010 and 2012.