Footballer convicted of attacking referee


A footballer who broke a referee’s nose during a match in the Dudley and Cradley Heath Football League has been today been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Shane Davies, aged 26, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to assault occasioning actual bodily harm following the attack  on 31 March 2013 during the football match between Malt Shovel Athletic, the defendant's team and Ocker Hill Football Club.

The game was being played in front of 50 to 60 spectators at the King George V Park, Wordsley and during the second half of the game, the referee, Allan Kite, turned down two penalty appeals by Malt Shovel Athletic.

Following the second penalty appeal, the Mr Kite awarded Ocker Hill a free kick, which annoyed Davies. He ran towards the Mr Kite shouting abuse at him. Mr Kite deemed this behaviour as unacceptable and showed him the red card, sending the defendant off.

Instead of accepting the referee's decision and leaving the pitch, Davies remonstrated with Mr Kite and then punched him once, knocking him to the ground and breaking his nose. As a result of the assault, the match was abandoned.

Davies was later arrested by the police and he was charged with assault to which he pleaded to and was given a 12 month imprisonment, suspended for two years, a 12 month supervised anger management programme, £500 compensation, £535 costs and £100 victim surcharge.

Iain Farrimond, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"Refereeing a football match can at times be extremely difficult with decisions being made which one team or another will disagree with or feel as though they have been harshly treated by.

"However, as a footballer, you have a duty of responsibility to your club, your team mates and your supporters to accept the decision which has been made, and if you do feel aggrieved by the decision, then approach your team's captain who will raise it with the referee.

"What is not acceptable is verbally abusing the referee and then assaulting them. We hope that today's sentence sends out a clear message to all those playing and watching the game that such behaviour, as carried out by Shane Davies, is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Such actions can be deemed as a criminal offence and it could lead to a prosecution."