Man left with black eye after stealing from professional rugby player

Jon Magrin said he was 'too nice' to the thief

A burglar picked the wrong house when he broke into the home of a 16-stone professional rugby league prop forward.

John Calvert, 23, was still sporting a black eye in his police mug shot four days after being tackled by Bradford Bulls star Jon Magrin.

See also: Why burglary victims are targeted again - several times

See also: How can you protect yourself from distraction burglars?

Calvert was left with a black eye when he was confronted by Magrin as he and an accomplice tried to escape with the player's cash and PlayStation console, from his flat.

Jailing Calvert for three years at Bradford Crown Court, Judge Jonathan Rose said it was the defendant's misfortune that his victim was a professional rugby league player, and not a woman who he had used violence against in a previous offence.

Prosecutor Dave MacKay told the court Calvert and two accomplices broke into an apartment in Bradford City Centre, which belonged to the 22-year-old player.

One kept watch outside while the other two, including Calvert, searched the flat.

Credits: Telegraph and Argus/

Magrin said he was "too nice" to Calvert

Calvert took £500 cash while the other man picked up the PlayStation.

Mr MacKay said Magrin arrived home and saw Calvert coming out of his door.

He punched the defendant in the face, knocking him to the ground, and there was a violent struggle.

The prosecutor said: "The defendant tried to run away. Using his day-to-day playing skills, Mr Magrin rugby tackled him to the floor."

Mr MacKay said the complainant again punched the defendant in the face, but Calvert produced a screwdriver and struck Mr Magrin in the head with it, causing a cut to his ear and forcing him to let go of the burglar.

But he was able to pull Calvert's coat from him and the defendant's phone fell to the ground.

Calvert was linked to the offence by DNA.

Judge Rose said that Magrin was courageous enough to stand up to him.

But he added: "When that happened, you used a screwdriver as a weapon to strike against him to make your escape.

"It's extremely fortunate that serious injury was not caused to him."

Speaking at the Bulls' training ground after the case, Magrin, who stands 6ft 1ins tall and weighs 16-and-a-half stones, said: "One guy was inside the flat trying to steal my PlayStation. He saw me and bottled it, throwing the PlayStation at my head. That disorientated me, and then the other one has tried to get away so I grabbed him.

"At first I was just trying to restrain him, I wasn't trying to beat him up or anything. I was probably being too nice.

"I was waiting for the police to arrive as a few people in the street had called the police. But initially they had called the police on me, because they thought I was assaulting him for no reason.

"As I was trying to restrain him he tried to fight back and I got angry and started beating him up.

"The passersby were having a go at me and I was explaining what I was doing, he pulled out some sort of weapon like a screwdriver and went for me.

"I let him go because my safety was more important that keeping him there but in the struggle I got his phone and jacket."

provided by