Ex-NRL Player Avoids jail

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Ex-NRL Player Avoids jail

Anthony Watts Photo: Getty Images

The lawyer for troubled ex-NRL player Anthony Watts believes a positive future lies ahead for his client after he avoided jail for assaulting a 73-year-old man a little over six months ago.

Watts, 30, was given a 12-month intensive correction order at Tweed Heads Local Court on Wednesday for the assault of William Ernest Woodford.

Watts waved a gun and assaulted Mr Woodford outside his Murwillumbah business on the afternoon of November 24, 2016, before driving away.

He then led police on a short pursuit in northern NSW before being arrested.

Wednesday's sentence means the former North Queensland Cowboys and Cronulla Sharks player will be released from prison, having been in custody since his arrest.

Watts has been in trouble with police several times since his professional football career ended in 2012.

But lawyer Andrew Maloney believes the treatment he's received in prison and the monitoring he'll be under as part of the correction order will help him put his life together.

"There's a future for him," Mr Maloney told the court on Wednesday.

"It's a positive one."

As well as the correction order, Watts has been disqualified from driving for two years for the traffic offences.

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