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Oulton Broad man faces jail

PUBLISHED: 14:08 26 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:53 06 July 2010

AN OULTON Broad man who was officiating as an assistant referee in an under-16 football match was warned this week that he could face prison after he admitted assaulting a player.

AN OULTON Broad man who was officiating as an assistant referee in an under-16 football match was warned this week that he could face prison after he admitted assaulting a player.

Alexander Taylor, 41, of Whiting Road, lost his temper when he overheard a striker who had been substituted telling a teammate to attack a member of the opposing team in retribution for a strong tackle.

Leaving the line of the pitch in Church Road, Gorleston, he stormed up to the 15-year-old unleashing a volley of swear words and grabbing hold of him, Great Yarmouth magistrates were told.

Gary Mayle, prosecuting, said these actions provoked an unseemly melee involving other players and spectators, and the referee was forced to abandon the match only a few minutes into the second half.

The 15-year-old victim ended up on the ground after he was punched and kicked by other assailants while Taylor was himself assaulted, resulting in a facial injury and damage to his glasses.

“The police were called and a number of people were arrested,” said Mr Mayle.

Chris Bowles, mitigating, said: “My client remonstrated with the young lad in an inappropriate way and grabbed hold of him, but he says that is the only forcible contact he applied.”

He pointed out that the victim had been hazy about what happened, telling police that after his encounter with Taylor, a second assailant had punched him and a third person got involved before he ended up on the ground, briefly losing consciousness.

However, Mr Bowles said Taylor acknowledged that his behaviour had sparked the incident.

“His attempt to berate someone led to the group melee,” he said.

Adjourning the case for sentencing on April 14, magistrates granted Taylor bail on condition that he did not attend any FA registered football match. A full probation report was requested and he was warned that all options, including a custodial sentence, would be considered.

Following the hearing, a spokesman for the Norfolk FA said the case in question was currently under investigation by its welfare and governance departments.

Taylor was not currently participating in football and had not done so since the incident, he added.

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