Ipswich: Footballer apologises to the victim of post-match attack

A THUGGISH footballer who led a vicious attack on an opponent has escaped a spell behind bars.

Patrick McDonagh, 20, punched and kicked Simon Barton as the pair came to blows after a Sunday league game at Whitton Sports and Leisure Centre.

A court heard how Mr Barton was pulled to the ground, punched, kicked and stamped on as McDonagh’s team-mates descended on the victim like a “pack of wolves”.

He was forced to curl up in the foetal position and cover his head to protect himself from serious injury.

The fight happened after the abandonment of an angry encounter between the Brewers Arms and Finningham Flyers in February.

The pair were walking off when McDonagh challenged Mr Barton about a comment he allegedly made during the game about his mother, before punching him in the face.

Prosecutor Lesla Small, referring to a witness statement by the match referee Brennan Butcher, said: “The player was taken to the ground and they were like a pack of wolves.

Most Read

“They were kicking and stamping on his head while he was on the ground.”

McDonagh, of Nacton Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to one charge of assault by beating at an earlier court hearing on August 11.

He was yesterday given a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, told to do 200 hours of unpaid community work and ordered to pay the court �360, which comprised �260 prosecution costs and �100 compensation for the victim.

David Brennan, the chairman of the bench, sentencing McDonagh, said: “Listening to the account of this assault, I was appalled.”

McDonagh, mitigating for himself at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court, said: “I’d love the opportunity to apologise to Simon. I didn’t mean to cause such an uproar.

“I just want him to know I’m really sorry.

“I should have dealt with it differently, I take full responsibility for my actions.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter