Footballer ordered to pay more than £1,000 after admitting assault on referee

Court news.
Court news.

A footballer has today (WEDS) been fined £400 and ordered to pay £500 compensation after he admitted headbutting a referee in a ‘moment of madness.’

Hastings Magistrates Court heard how the red mist came down when Joseph White, 25, of Braybrooke Road, assaulted volunteer referee Richard Milton in a county league match.

The incident happened five minutes before half time in a match between St Leonards Social and Hollington United on November 8 last year. White pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating.

The court heard that White had been playing for Hollington United in a heated match at the Tilekiln recreation ground off Napier Road, St Leonards.

Mr Milton had given White a yellow card earlier in the game when White made a second bookable offence. At the time Hollington were winning the game 2-1.

Prosecutor Jeremy King said White headbutted Mr Milton, left the field, and went home to his father’s house before handing himself in to police. The match was abandoned after the incident.

“The game was rather heated and he had already received a yellow card,” said Mr King. “He stated the red mist came to him and has admitted headbutting the referee. Mr Milton was simply refereeing the game in his spare time.”

Mr Milton’s injuries were treated in Eastbourne District General. Photographs of Mr Milton’s swollen and bleeding nose were shown to the bench.

White has one previous caution for a public order offence in 2006.

Defending, Rosalind Crook, said: “His behaviour was completely unacceptable. Since he was two or three-years-old football has been his life. After the event he went straight home to his father’s house and within an hour he had handed himself in. He also emailed the Sussex FA to let them know what had happened.

“He is suffering enormously and rightly so. He appreciates what he has done is wrong. He has been told that he has been banned from playing football for life. That means no coaching or playing.

“This is completely out of character. He is paying enormously for that one moment of madness.”

Chair of the bench David Wallis ordered White to pay a fine of £400, compensation of £500, court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £40