Soap star fined for Ipswich brawl

FORMER Coronation Street Thomas Craig is more than £500 poorer today after admitting threatening behaviour during an early morning brawl between two gangs in Ipswich.

FORMER Coronation Street Thomas Craig is more than £500 poorer today after admitting threatening behaviour during an early morning brawl between two gangs in Ipswich.

The 42-year-old pleaded guilty before the town's South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court to his part in a fight at Cardinal Park, sparked by a football-related incident.

Earlier this year his character, hard-man Tommy Harris, was killed off by his screen daughter, Katie, in one of the soap's most explosive plot lines.

As he appeared before the court under his real name of Craig Thompson, magistrates heard violence erupted in the nightlife area's car park at 3.20am on August 20, the day Ipswich were due to play the Sheffield club.

Prosecutor Lesla Small told the court police were sent to Cardinal Park after a report of fighting. When they arrived there appeared to be two groups aggressively walking towards each other.

Ms Small said officers tried to keep them apart, but were unable to do so and fighting broke out.

Most Read

Police saw two people under the canopy of Hi-Life gym exchanging punches.

One of the men was Thompson, whose address was given as All Farthing Lane, London.

As the pair tussled with each other, police intervened and arrested both men.

The court heard that they were taken to Felixstowe police station for questioning.

Ms Small said in interview Thompson did not deny exchanges punches with the younger man, but in his defence said they were in equal measure to the amount being thrown at him.

Thompson had come to Ipswich with some friends to watch that day's game at Portman Road. The group were staying at the Novotel, near Ipswich's waterfront.

Magistrates heard that the evening before his arrest an incident had occurred in which one of his friends was allegedly knocked down by a van containing Ipswich supporters and Thompson believed the man he was arrested with had been one of them.

However when quizzed by police, he admitted he was mistaken.

Prior to imposing their sentence magistrates were told that although Thompson was unemployed at the time of the incident, he had earned £60,000 in the previous year.

Since his arrest it was said he had been paid £5,000 to take part in a trial for a football-related programme for Sky television.

Magistrates said they took Thompson's early guilty plea into account and fined him £500. They also ordered him to pay £34 costs.

A spokeswoman for Thompson's agents Shepherd Management, of London, said after the case: “I'm afraid we have no comment to make.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter