Jail sentence for 'bully' spectator who butted footballer after match
A SPECTATOR who butted a five-a-side footballer after a match has been jailed.
Gardener Dwaine Riley left his victim with a dead tooth and a bill for £600 in dental treatment, Derby Crown Court heard.
Judge Andrew Hamilton described him as "something of a bully" while studying the criminal record of Riley, 30, who admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.
He said Riley, who was jailed for eight months, had been watching the match at Pride Park on March 18 and became annoyed at the behaviour of the team playing the side he was supporting.
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"You walked towards this person puffing your chest out and with both fists clenched beside your body," he said. "You walked up, made some comment and then head-butted him. Spectators who involve themselves in football violence can only expect to go immediately to prison.
"If you continue to go to football matches and behave in a disgusting way, I expect you will receive much greater sentences."
Alex Wolfson, prosecuting, said there had been problems during the match among players "fouling and trying to goad members of the team".
After the game, Riley went to the reception area where the referee was making a complaint about the other team. He then confronted a player outside in the car park, asking him where a teammate had gone.
Riley was told he had already left the area but then assaulted the 23-year-old.
"Without warning, he head-butted him in the face, causing immediate pain. He could taste blood," added Mr Wolfson.
Nicola Hunter, in mitigation, told the court:"He was not a player, simply an over-zealous spectator. He lashed out without thinking and that is something he has bitterly regretted ever since."
She said Riley of Curzon Street, Long Eaton, had got a gardening job and held that for nearly a year.
Miss Hunter added: "It is a great shame to him and a shame that he feels on behalf of his family that he behaved so appallingly on this occasion after four or five years because he thought he had put his unattractive past behind him."
The court was told Riley had previous convictions for assault, including butting and an incident during a darts match at a Long Eaton pub.