Cider shortage led to football club fight

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A SHORTAGE of cider at the bar of Daventry football club led to an argument which spilled over into violence.

Danny Wheeldon, 25, and Marc Freeth, 34, were out drinking at the club bar in Browns Road, Daventry, on October 29, 2010 when the cider ran dry.

Rebecca Wade, prosecuting at Northampton Crown Court, said the pair were drinking Strongbow and Sambuca shots when they ordered two pints of cider. But as a barmaid was pouring them, the cider ran out and the drinks ended up being half a pint too short.

After being told there was no more cider available, the pair became abusive towards the bar staff until a woman stepped in and told them to stop being insulting. As she was shouted and sworn at, husband Trevor Green also stepped in to intervene but he was attacked.

The court heard he was repeatedly punched and kicked and suffered a laceration to the back of his head.

Judge Richard Bray was told the Greens were left so traumatised by the attack they have now moved away from the Daventry area while the two members of staff were left “extremely terrified” by what happened and the prospect of giving evidence.

Wheeldon, of Hemans Road, Daventry and Freeth, of Highfield Road, Headlands, Daventry were due to stand trial on Wednesday but pleaded guilty moments before a jury was sworn in and admitted inflicting actual bodily harm.

Judge Bray said: “Wheeldon appears to be the main instigator and has no previous for violence and Freeth did something to try and stop things yet has a stack of offences for violence because he is a violent man. So it is a slightly curious situation.”

Both men were sentenced to 50 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years and must pay £400 compensation each to Mr Green. Wheeldon must also do 120 hours’ community service while Freeth will be subject to a four-month 8pm to 8am curfew.

Sentencing, Judge Bray said: “When Mr Green sought to intervene about your foul-mouthed language, you set upon him, attacked him and knocked him to the ground. I accept you Freeth tried to hold Wheeldon back to a degree but you did join in the attack.

“And in your case Wheeldon, I accept you do not have a bad record for violence but you were the main perpetrator in this assault.”