Panthers NRL star Taylan May found GUILTY of assaulting teenage fan at post-Grand Final party session

Panthers star Taylan May is found GUILTY for attacking a teenage fan who took video of him at the post-grand final party – after insisting he was protecting superstar team-mate Nathan Cleary

  • NRL rising star Taylan May, 21, has been found guilty in court of assaulting a teenage fan
  • The incident happened in Maroochydore at the Duporth Tavern on October 8th last year
  • May celebrated with Penrith team-mates days after her Premiership win
  • Panthers winger May grabbed a man by the collar and threw him to the ground
  • Before the court sentencing, May insisted he was trying to defuse the situation

Rising NRL star Taylan May has been found guilty of assaulting a teenage footy fan while celebrating Penrith’s big finals win with teammates.

The 21-year-old winger was with Nathan Cleary, Jerome Luai and May’s brother Tyrone at the Duporth Tavern in Maroochydore on October 8 last year when the incident unfolded.

The court heard Cleary approaching an 18-year-old man who previously took video of him – which the star halfback wanted deleted.

CCTV footage showed May stepping behind the man while he was speaking to Cleary and Tyrone May.

Then you can see how he grabs the man by the shirt collar and pulls him to the ground.

Rising NRL star Taylan May was found guilty of assaulting a teenage fan while celebrating Penrith's big final win with team-mates last October

Rising NRL star Taylan May was found guilty of assaulting a teenage fan while celebrating Penrith’s big final win with team-mates last October

The 21-year-old winger was with Nathan Cleary, Jerome Luai and May's brother Tyrone at the Duporth Tavern in Maroochydore on October 8 last year when the incident unfolded (pictured, Penrith celebrates his title on October 3).

The 21-year-old winger was with Nathan Cleary, Jerome Luai and May’s brother Tyrone at the Duporth Tavern in Maroochydore on October 8 last year when the incident unfolded (pictured, Penrith celebrates his title on October 3).

During the ensuing argument, the man hit his head on the ground and suffered a sprained neck.

May pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault.

Before the verdict, May insisted he was trying to defuse the situation and protect Cleary.

“Anyone in my position, if they were a good friend, would have done what I did,” he told the court.

“I stood up for Cleary. I don’t think I was wrong. I didn’t want the situation to escalate.”

The 21-year-old (pictured playing the Broncos) insists he defended his good friend Nathan Cleary on the night in question

The 21-year-old (pictured playing the Broncos) insists he defended his good friend Nathan Cleary on the night in question

Nathan Cleary (left, with his father and Penrith coach Ivan Cleary after the team's big final triumph in 2021) previously said May always put other people before him

Nathan Cleary (left, with his father and Penrith coach Ivan Cleary after the team’s big final triumph in 2021) previously said May always put other people before him

After May was charged in April, Penrith released a statement which said: “The club were made aware of the incident at the time, informed the NRL Integrity Unit and launched an investigation into the matter.

“The club subsequently took disciplinary action against (Taylan) May.”

On Wednesday Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin called May’s behavior “reprehensible” and “cowardly”.

He demanded that he pay the victim $1,000 in compensation and a $1,000 fine.

No conviction was recorded.

May was not removed from the Panthers either after the incident or during the trial.

He won’t play against the Cowboys in Townsville this weekend after coach Ivan Cleary decided to rest 12 players – but is expected to be free to play in Penrith’s finals campaign as the minor Premiers chase back-to-back NRL titles.

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Maureen Mackey

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