Rugby league player groped barmaid and brawling with punters after downing beers and Jagerbombs at pub | The Sun

A RUGBY league player groped a barmaid and started fighting punters after downing beers and Jagerbombs during a night out.

Ryan Hilliard, 32, reached over the bar to grab the woman at the pub in Haydock, Merseyside, in January earlier this year.

The married dad-of-three also stuck out his tongue in a ''suggestive'' manner while watching Manchester United play Manchester City on TV with friends.

Hilliard's antics then included lifting his leg onto customers’ tables, an argument with a disabled man and his daughter and refusing to leave despite repeated requests.

Staff at the pub eventually threw Hilliard out, but he returned an hour later and tried to hug the barmaid.

He then spoke to a colleague and asked: "Can't we just make up?"

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The rugby league player, who played wing for amateur club Pilkington Recs in St Helens, was eventually arrested after squaring up to the landlord.

He was was eventually arrested after squaring up to the pub's landlord.

Hilliard was found guilty of sexual assault at Sefton Magistrates' Court today.

He will be sentenced later following the preparation of reports.

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The court earlier heard how the incident took place on January 14 during the Manchester Derby.

Hilliard was watching the game with friends, having spent the afternoon drinking tequila-flavoured Desperado beers, six pints of Corona lager and Jagerbombs.

But trouble began at around 9.30am when he approached the bar to buy another round of drinks.

The barmaid, who cannot be named, told the court: "I asked: 'What would you like?' and he said: ''I want 10 Jagerbombs with you.'

"I said 'you can have 10 Jagerbombs but it won't be with me', but he repeated: 'I want 10 Jagerbombs with you.'

''Again I said, ‘No. What do you want?’, but he said it again so I just walked off.

"He was doing lewd things with his mouth while being at the bar presumably because I was not giving him any attention. He was putting his tongue out suggestively towards me."

She added: "Then someone from his group came to the bar and ordered five Jagerbombs.

"I put the Jagermeister into the glasses but the defendant just came over leaned over the bar and poked his finger into the middle of my breast where my nipple is."

She confronted Hilliard and told him to "get out" the pub, but said he did "nothing".

Instead, he insisted: "I've not done anything."

The barmaid rang the landlord, telling him Hilliard had "touched me up".

He immediately told Hilliard to leave and that he was now barred from the venue.

But Hilliard returned shortly after 11pm and approached the woman again.

The victim said: ''I was really gobsmacked and felt extremely vulnerable because of the fact that he had left an hour or so and then came back and made a beeline for the bar.

"I told him to get out but he just kept saying 'I've done nothing wrong'.

''I said ‘I am going to have to bring the landlord again, if you do not get out’ but he came around the bar to where I was and was saying: ‘Can't we just make up?’"

"He wanted to hug me and I just let him hug me because I just wanted to diffuse the situation."

The landlord returned and questioned why Hilliard had returned to the pub, but the rugby league player then squared up to him.

The barmaid then called the police and Hilliard was arrested at the scene.

The court heard a recording of the 999 call, where the barmaid can be heard telling the operator there was a man who would not leave and who was "spoiling for a fight".

The barmaid's colleague told the court: "I saw the gentleman in question lean across the bar and saw him grope her breast.

"He leant across the bar and literally grabbed her boob.

"She looked very shocked and said: ‘Are you taking the mick?’ She went into shock.

"When he came back in and tried to hug me I said 'I'm not a hugger'. He then went face to face with the landlord."

Giving evidence in his own trial, Hilliard said he had a wife and three kids and would "never do anything like that".

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He said he and his friends were "just being daft" and "having a good time".

Hilliard has been bailed for sentencing.

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