Former amateur star Fitzgerald gets 46-week sentence

Former British super-welterweight champion and 2014 Commonwealth gold medalist Scott Fitzgerald has been handed a 46-week custodial sentence after pleading guilty to a charge of GBH at Preston Crown Court. 


On November 27, Fitzgerald, while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, was escorted from the Grand Junction pub, Ashton-On-Ribble, due to his conduct. Fitzgerald, the court was told, “kicked at the door [of the Grand Junction] and shouted aggressively” after being removed from the premises before being captured on CCTV landing a blow on a man who was not involved in proceedings at Preston Crown Court after electing not to make a formal complaint. 


The victim, Leevi Francis, then approached Fitzgerald about his behaviour. The court heard that Scott responded by hitting the victim and leaving him unconscious for approximately 60 seconds. Mr Francis sustained a broken jaw and cut below the eyebrow. 


Fitzgerald was arrested the following day at his home. Despite sentencing, which took place yesterday (May 17), Fitzgerald has been remanded in custody since his arrest. The court heard that Fitzgerald could be released within “days” due to already serving six months behind bars while awaiting court proceedings against him to commence. 


Mr Qazi, who represented Fitzgerald in court, revealed that his client was now banned from professional boxing by the British Boxing Board of Control. Qazi added that his client was free of all substances during his time served on remand and is “remorseful and ashamed” of his actions.


Sentencing, Judge Richard Archer said for a man with Fitzgerald’s training, a blow with his fist was equivalent to the use of a weapon.


“You know, as somebody who is supposed to be trained to control aggression and channel it for the purposes of professional sport, that when to behave that way - even by your own admission under the influence of drink and drugs - is entirely unacceptable. You risk very serious consequences for your victim.


“A professional boxer who under the influence is unable to charge the power in those fists could all so easily have rendered a man not just unconscious but dead. It is fortunate you are not facing a much more serious charge. There are many people who face those charges based on a single blow.


“As it stands, fortunately for your victim and fortunately for you, the offence you are facing is far less serious but nonetheless a troubling one. It has already had professional and personal consequences for you and professional and personal consequences for Mr Francis.”


However, the former prospect faces more dates in court over the summer months. 


Fitzgerald will attend magistrates court on June 2 to face three separate assault charges allegedly committed last November.


He is also facing a charge of rape which will be heard at Crown Court on August 14.


During 2020, concerns were raised after social media reports and clips showing the former British champion in poor physical and psychological condition. Eddie Hearn of Matchroom had contacted Fitzgerald to offer support to help overcome the issues surrounding alcohol and drugs. The former British champion did spend time in the Sporting Chance clinic, which assists professional athletes in overcoming addiction and related matters.