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Striker's brother sent to jail

PUBLISHED: 10:31 12 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:00 05 July 2010

A BROTHER of Norwich City striker Chris Martin was starting a 15 month prison sentence today after viciously attacking a rugby player.

Gerald Martin, 22, of Station Road in Beccles, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday to 15 months in jail.

A BROTHER of Norwich City striker Chris Martin was starting a 15 month prison sentence today after viciously attacking a rugby player.

Gerald Martin, 22, of Station Road in Beccles, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday to 15 months in jail.

Judge David Goodin said the attack, which left Daniel Rix with two black eyes and a cut to his cheek, was extremely violent.

Following his trial at the court last month a jury had taken less than an hour to find Martin guilty of assaulting 21 stone lorry driver Mr Rix, as he walked home from the Ingate pub in Beccles during the summer.

Judge Goodin said: “You knocked a man down from behind. You repeatedly kicked to the head area quite viciously and caused his injuries. This is your first experience of custody and it will have negative effects on your personal life.”

The judge said Martin had believed that his father had been insulted, or inconvenienced, but warned him against vigilantism in the future.

During the two day trial the court had heard that Mr Rix, who plays rugby for Beccles, was drinking in the Ingate pub on June 28 when Martin's father, also called Gerald, barged into him causing him to spill his drink.

There was a row at the tavern and later that night Mr Rix was walking home with a friend when he saw Gerald Martin junior and his brother Chris in front of them.

The brothers slowed down and as Mr Rix walked past he was pushed to the ground and kicked in the head by Gerald Martin junior.

The court heard that witnesses had identified Martin's brother Chris Martin, who has been on loan to Luton Town, as being present during the incident, but not involved in it.

Simon Spence, mitigating, said: “Mr Martin is perhaps someone that when sober is a hard working, law abiding perfectly pleasant young man.

“He feels terrible shame letting down his family. There is a great deal of good about him. A lot will be thrown away by sending him off to prison.”

A pre-sentence report and references were submitted to the court, which was advised that Martin, who also plays football, now accepts his guilt.

As the judge sentenced Martin for the assault occasioning actual bodily harm on June 29 to 15 months in prison, there were sobs from the public gallery where his friends and family had gathered to support him.

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