Boxer is jailed for violent offences

Declan Fusco
Declan Fusco

AN Olympic boxing hope who was cleared of assaulting two women has been jailed for 18 months for other offences of violence.

Declan Fusco knows the jail term will cost him a place in the Great Britain team at this year’s Commonwealth Games, Durham Crown Court heard.

But he hopes to be in contention for the next Olympics in 2016 or may turn professional.

Heavyweight Fusco stood trial this week for assaulting his former partner and her friend.

He admitted smashing a mobile phone and fixtures and fittings in a house in Peterlee.

Fusco, 22, of Rydal Crescent, Peterlee, was found not guilty of the assault charges.

Prosecutor Chris Baker told the court Fusco was due to be sentenced for committing disorderly conduct in Blackpool on August 3.

“There was a drunken dispute between two groups on The Promenade,” added Mr Baker.

“Fusco threatened a pub doorman and threw punches at the other group, some of which connected.”

The court heard Fusco was also in breach of a suspended sentence imposed at Durham Crown Court last year.

“That was a single blow in a pub in Easington,” added Mr Baker. “The victim needed 50 stitches to a head wound.”

Jane Waugh mitigating, said Fusco had reached a turning point.

“He has been going to church while on remand in prison,” added Ms Waugh.

“Mr Fusco is big and black, part of his problem is when he is baited he rises to the bait.

“He has a gift, but he now realised he must channel that in the right direction.

The Recorder, Sophie Drake, jailed Fusco for four months for disorderly conduct, two months for criminal damage, and the recorder activated 12 months of the suspended sentence.

“Your boxing is both a blessing and a curse,” the recorder told Fusco.

“When you punch someone there is the potential to cause really serious injury.

“There is some evidence you are a decent man when sober, but with a drink inside you, your powerful punch makes you a dangerous man.

“You must learn to control your aggression and use it properly in the ring.

“All the sentences I have passed will have to run consecutively, making a total of 18 months.”