August 2, 2014
A medal-winning Commonwealth Games weightlifter headbutted a Welsh competitor after a row over ‘physical contact’ with his victim’s girlfriend.
Australian Francois Etoundi assaulted Gareth Evans, also a weightlifter, in the athletes’ village on Wednesday morning, Glasgow Sheriff Court heard.
The incident unfolded after Mr Evans’ girlfriend and a number of other people had congratulated Etoundi, 29, for winning a bronze medal by ‘physically taking hold of him’.
Procurator fiscal depute Stuart Fauré said Etoundi was staying in the athletes’ village at the time of the incident.
He told the court there was a lead up to the assault around 4.45am in the morning of July 30 when Mr Evans and his friend Sonny Webster – a weightlifter for England – were in the ‘mess hall’ having breakfast.
Etoundi went into the hall and asked Mr Evans to go outside for a fight but Mr Evans ignored him and carried on having his breakfast.
Mr Fauré said: ‘The accused left the dining room. At approximately 5.30am that same morning the complainer and Mr Webster left the dining room and whilst they were walking through the athlete’s village they came across the accused, Mr Etoundi.
‘Mr Etoundi was in the company of some others. It’s said that Mr Etoundi approached Mr Evans and headbutted him to his face, in fact the blow struck Mr Evans on his nose.
‘The incident was in relatively short compass. Mr Evans said it was totally unprovoked. The accused made off from the scene.’
Mr Evans was described as having an ‘uncomplicated fracture to his nose’ and given painkillers.
Police later detained Etoundi and as they did he said: ‘Yeah, yeah, I understand, I’m cool man.’
He later made no reply when charged by the police after being interviewed.
Mr Hunter, defending, said that Etoundi was originally from Cameroon but lives in Australia with his girlfriend. He had won bronze on July 29 in the 77kg category of weightlifting.
He said his client had gone to the restaurant where he was congratulated by a number of people including Mr Evans’ girlfriend, who ‘physically took hold of him’.
The lawyer told the court Mr Evans ‘didn’t appear to be greatly impressed by the physical contact between the two and words were exchanged’.