A FORMER Glasgow Warriors rugby player assaulted a couple who stepped in after he was racially abused.

Walter Fifita, 26, attacked Caitlin Edwards, 29, and Ben Mazzucco, 28, in Glasgow's West End on September 11, 2022.

The winger had been in an argument with an unknown man after he was taunted outside Oran Mor nightclub.

Primary school teacher Miss Edwards intervened to "keep the peace" but was instead shoved to the ground twice by Fifita.

Surveyor Mr Mazzucco approached Fifita who then went on to punch him on the face.

Tonga international Fifita was released from Glasgow Warriors in April 2023 due to a "personal legal matter."

He is currently without a club and is living in New Zealand earning £800 per week in a new post.

Fifita was hauled back to Scotland where he sat in the dock charged with the two assaults - one of which to injury.

He was convicted of the “appalling” attacks and ordered to pay the couple £1500 in compensation.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard from Miss Edwards who stated she was on a night out with her partner Mr Mazzucco and friends.

She claimed that she saw Fifita and another man arguing outside Oran Mor around 3.30am.

Miss Edwards stated she approached the two men to "keep the peace."

The witness claimed she told Fifita to stop "speaking like that" to the man and to "get out his face."

Prosecutor Lauren Murphy-Carr asked Miss Edwards what happened next.

She replied: "The first time I was standing by the side and I was shoved out the way."

The woman pointed to Fifita in the dock as being the man who pushed her.

Miss Murphy-Carr: "Did anything happen as a result of the shove?"

Miss Edwards: "I fell to the ground and scraped all my elbow and hand and hurt my head."

She claimed that Fifita went on to "square up" to Mr Mazzucco.

Miss Edwards said: "He was right in his face, really angry - I tried to get between them as I was worried what he was going to happen next.

"After I stood in between them, I was grabbed and thrown to the ground for a second time."

Miss Murphy-Carr: "Who grabbed you?"

Miss Edwards: "The same man."

When asked how she felt about the incident, Miss Edwards replied: "For six weeks after this, I was going dizzy and just scared I guess - I was not myself."

Mr Mazzucco told the court that Miss Edwards spoke up after she heard Fifita call the other man a "retard."

He stated that he approached Fifita after he pushed Miss Edwards to the ground on the first occasion.

Mr Mazzucco said: "He punched me, he was quite big and I'm not a big guy.

"I wasn't going to get involved in a fight - I didn't want to get involved but he kept coming for me."

The witness added that Fifita was "out to get in a fight" that night.

Constable Amy Hendry, 25, claimed that she visited Glasgow Warriors days later and the team manager told her he would get him to attend a police station.

It is there, the officer claimed Fifita replied: "I did push her away" but denied the assault on Mr Mazzucco.

Fifita told the court in his evidence that he was called a "black c***" by an unknown man in a group near Oran Mor.

He stated that he confronted the man before Miss Edwards got in between them.

Fifita claimed he did not "raise his hands" but admitted moving Miss Edwards aside.

Fifita denied punching Mr Mazzucco and that PC Hendry "made up" that he told her that he pushed Miss Edwards.

He said at the end of the incident another man who pulled him away and said: "You shouldn't be doing this, you are a Glasgow Warriors player."

Sheriff Gerard Bonnar stated when convicting Fifita that he "did not do the best to tell the truth” adding he was “hesitant and guarded."

Lawyer Abby Russell told the sheriff that her client is "no longer engaged in rugby" and a first offender.

The sheriff fined Fifita £740 and ordered him to pay the couple £1,500 in compensation.

He said: "You were racially abused and that's appalling but you can't turn your anger or allow that anger to lead to a situation where you behaved in this manner.

"The way you acted towards these innocent bystanders was appalling."