Brumbies star David Pocock escapes conviction

Former Wallabies and Brumbies skipper David Pocock has escaped conviction over a protest against an Australian coal mine in which he locked himself to a digger.

Pocock was arrested in late November after he attached himself to the machine for 10 hours to protest against the Maules Creek coal mine in a New South Wales state forest.

The 26-year-old flanker pleaded guilty at Gunnedah Local Court to hindering a workman in use of property but the charge was dismissed without conviction, Australian Associated Press said.

The Leard Forest Alliance, which organised the long-running protest against the mine, also said that Pocock had had no charge recorded and no penalty for his involvement in the peaceful protest.

Pocock was ruled out of rugby for nine months in March following knee surgery but is back training with the ACT Brumbies.

He received a written warning from the Australian Rugby Union over his arrest in which officials said they expected Pocock’s priority to be “ensuring he can fulfil his role as a high-performance athlete”.

At the time he joined the long-running protest and blockade Pocock said he supported farmers’ concerns about the impact the mine had on climate change and on the water table.

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