Ref attacker spared jail
AN assaulted referee today said he was not bitter after the player who attacked him was spared jail.Christopher Dale, 46, was in charge of a Select Technical Services Premier Division match between Belstead Arms and St Clement's on Sunday, April 6.
AN assaulted referee today said he was not bitter after the player who
attacked him was spared jail.
Christopher Dale, 46, was in charge of a Select Technical Services Premier
Division match between Belstead Arms and St Clement's on Sunday, April 6.
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The game, at the King George V Field, off Old Norwich Road, Ipswich, was
abandoned after he was kicked in the stomach by a Belstead Arms player he
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had just sent off.
The Ipswich and District Referee Society today said that the player, 21-year-old Andrew Coote, had "got off lightly", sending out the wrong message to others condiering violence on the football pitch.
Yesterday Ipswich magistrates heard how Coote started to walk off the field before returning to where Mr Dale was standing and committed the assault.
Margaret Cutts, prosecuting, said: "Mr Coote was ordered off the pitch and
began to leave the field but saw his brother remonstrating with the referee.
Mr Coote walked back to the referee and kicked him in the stomach."
Mr Dale, of Elmcroft Road, Ipswich suffered severe internal bruising
following the attack.
Claire Hullock, mitigating, said: "Immediately after the incident Mr Coote
admitted it and voluntarily went to the police station and told them what
had happened. He wrote a letter to Mr Dale apologising to him and explaining
that he could not understand what had came over him."
David Coe, chair of the bench at South East Suffolk Magistrates court, told Coote: "You have an unfortunate temper which has got you into a lot of trouble. You cannot go round thumping referees. They do their best and you went one step too far."
Coote, a former Stoke High School pupil, was ordered to pay £800 in
compensation to Mr Dale, £55 in costs and serve 100 hours community service.
He will also have to attend an anger management course and had already been
given a lifelong ban from playing football.
After hearing of the punishment, Mr Dale said: "I'm not vindictive and I
have faith in the Criminal Justice system."
"The police have been good and the local football leagues were strong and
decisive. I hope the football community takes note and begin to take
pre-emptive measures against players with poor disciplinary histories.
"Managers and football associations should not select or register known
problem players and officials should be made aware of disciplinary records
so we can opt not to officiate."
Coote, from Radcliffe Drive, Ipswich, refused to comment.