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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Gang attacked footballer

A FOOTBALLER was punched to the floor, kicked and knocked unconscious during a midnight street brawl.

Millom AFC player Steven Grieve, 27, was taken to hospital after he was attacked by a group of males on a night out in Millom.

The attack left Mr Grieve with a swollen face, bloody nose, bleeding lips and a cut to the head, Furness Youth Court heard yesterday.

Andrew Richards, 18, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating and a 16-year-old boy, also from Millom, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Another three or four males involved have not been traced.

Prosecuting, Mrs Leslie Duhig, told the court that Mr Grieve had come from a rock concert at Millom Palladium when he became involved in an argument with Richards.

Mrs Duhig said: “CCTV was being watched by an on duty police officer. The officer said he saw Mr Grieve walking into the shot on St George’s Road. He then saw Andrew, who was being held back by a male in a black top, throw a punch.”

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, then intervened, talking to the victim in a heated argument.

Mrs Duhig said: “Andrew punched at Mr Grieve, Mr Grieve responded by punching back, knocking Andrew off balance and into a wall.

“Mr Grieve tried to get away but he was prevented by the younger teenager, who punched him.

“Mr Grieve then punched the teenager down to the ground.

“The footage shows that Mr Grieve tried to back off but Andrew kicked him to the ground.

“The teenager placed himself on top of Mr Grieve and punched him repeatedly.

“The footage shows that a number of other males joined in, kicking him while he was incapacitated.

“It is not clear where the kicks were delivered but there is no evidence to say he was kicked in the head.”

The fight broke up when a passing policeman intervened.

Mrs Duhig said Mr Grieve, who lived in Lord Street, Millom at the time of the attack, appeared to be unconscious and bleeding from his head, nose and face.

But she said the victim regained consciousness before the arrival of an ambulance.

Defending, Mr Graham Jackson,said the two defendants and the victim had been drinking during the incident at 12.45am on March 28.

He said: “It is the case that alcohol played a major part. What the CCTV shows is the argument seems to have developed from Mr Grieve and Andrew.

“There is a suggestion that they wanted to fight each other. It was only a brief exchange of blows before Andrew went out of the shot.

“At that point the younger teenager came in, believing he was protecting his less physically endowed friend.”

After a series of grapples, Mr Jackson said three or four other males then joined in, kicking the victim on the ground.

He said: “As the police officer ran over the three or four other people disappeared.

“Andrew did not do much apart from struggle with Mr Grieve.

“It was the younger teenager who kicked him while he was getting up from the ground.”

The court heard neither of the two defendants have any previous convictions.

Richards, who is training at Furness College as a motor mechanic, appeared in court wearing a dark hoody and a blue t-shirt.

The Haverigg resident was given a six month referral order and ordered to pay £100 costs.

The 16-year-old is set to appear back in court on October 22 for sentencing.

Presiding magistrate Bernard Beckett ordered a pre-sentence report to be completed before that date, but warned the teenager that a custodial sentence had not been ruled out.

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