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Former rugby player Gareth Thomas opts for apology over charges following attack

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By Angela Barnes
Gareth Thomas at an athletics event in London in 2012
Gareth Thomas at an athletics event in London in 2012   -   Copyright  REUTERS   -   REUTERS

Former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas said he has chosen to ask for an apology rather than press criminal charges against a boy who attacked him.

Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009 and retired in 2011, said he was attacked for his sexuality.

He posted the above video on social media showing cuts and bruises on his face after the incident happened in Cardiff on Friday.

He said he opted for "restorative justice" against the 16-year-old in a bid to send out a positive message.

"Last night I was a victim in my home city of a hate crime for my sexuality.

"I want to say thank you to the police, who were involved and allowed me to do restorative justice to the people that did this because I thought they could learn more that way," he said in the video.

"And also to the people of Cardiff who supported me and helped me because there’s a lot of people out there who want to hurt us.

"But, unfortunately for them, there’s a lot more who want to help us heal. So this, I hope, will be a positive message," he added.

The video has been watched more than two million times and has been shared fourteen thousand times on Twitter.

He also received thousands of messages in support on his social media post.

The 16-year-old boy who carried out the attack, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has since apologised to Thomas, according to police.