Footballer spared prison

A FOOTBALL captain who assaulted his girlfriend in front of her nine-year-old daughter after his team lost a match has been spared a prison sentence.Craig Brown pleaded guilty to common assault after he punched his partner in the chest, and head butted her on the bridge of her nose during the incident earlier this year.

A FOOTBALL captain who assaulted his girlfriend in front of her nine-year-old daughter after his team lost a match has been spared a prison sentence.

Craig Brown pleaded guilty to common assault after he punched his partner in the chest, and head butted her on the bridge of her nose during the incident.

The 22-year-old, from Cherry Tree Road in Stowmarket, had been drinking and was in a foul mood after his team - the Needham Market reserves - lost 5-2 to Long Melford.

Magistrates in Bury St Edmunds heard yesterday how Brown had been forced to watch from the side-lines after he was suspended from playing in the match.

“As captain he felt he was letting his side down for not being on the pitch,” said defence solicitor Jeremy Kendall.

“It (the offence) happened after he had been drinking and after he had had a frustrating day in relation to his team.

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“He realised he had done something wrong, and made a full and frank admission in the police station.”

Magistrates heard how an argument started between Brown and his partner of three years after he returned home following the match on September 9.

Rosalind Clark, prosecuting, said: “Mr Brown had been out drinking, and returned home at about 10.30pm.

“An argument started and Mr Brown was clearly drunk, and began to punch her in the chest area, which was witnessed by the victim's nine-year-old daughter who had woken up and come downstairs.”

Mrs Clark told the court that the victim took her daughter back up to bed, but when she returned the argument continued, and Brown head butted her on her nose, causing it to bleed.

The victim suffered a cut and swelling to the bridge of her nose, and reddening to her hand and upper arm.

Brown was sentenced to an 18 month supervision order, an 18 month prohibited activity requirement, and 80 hours unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £150 compensation to his former partner, and £43 in court costs.

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