A MAN needed facial reconstructive surgery after being kicked during an attack in a Leamington night club by a Studley FC player.
Nathan Edgington, aged 21, of Binley Close, Solihull, was jailed for 16 months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to inflicting grievous bodily harm on Billy Warnock.
Prosecutor Iain Willis said the incident took place in Smack night club on Sunday July 29 last year.
The two men first came into contact in the smoking area where, for no apparent reason, Edgington began tapping Mr Warnock to the face and nose. He was told to go away, and that incident came to an end.
Some time later, Edgington grabbed Mr Warnock and held him against a wall by his throat and punched him, knocking him over.
While he was down, Edgington and two others kicked Mr Warnock several times.
Mr Willis said that Edgington, who had no previous convictions, had entered his plea on the basis that it had been a joint enterprise with others who were not before the court.
“But he accepts his part in the assault and being the catalyst for what happened.”
Mr Warnock suffered a displaced fracture to his right eye socket and a flattening of the cheekbone.
He underwent surgery during which titanium plates and false bone were used to repair the damage, and he has been left with continuing numbness to his cheek.
Stefan Kolodynski, defending, said Edgington’s family’s home had been used as security for the family business which got into financial difficulties in 2011.
His father tried to rescue it for 12 months, but by early last year bankruptcy proceedings started, which led to the business going into liquidation and a possession order being issued on their home.
Mr Edgington Sr did not admit this until three days before the house was repossessed, as a result of which the family broke up and Edgington, who moved in with his aunt, began to suffer from a depressive illness.
Matters got worse in May last year when his father suffered a heart attack and needed open-heart surgery.
“So by July when he was in that night club, he had an awful lot to deal with and there was a lot of anger inside him.
“This is an offence which was totally out of character. Your Honour is dealing with a young man who will never come before the courts again.”
Jailing Edgington, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “People who know you describe you as a nice young man; the last person they would expect to get involved in offending of this sort.
“But it was a sustained attack on this young man. He needed substantial reconstructive surgery and will have long-term numbness in his face.
“I would very much like to be able to say that a young man like you should have a chance and not go to prison, but I also have to take into account the other young man.”
Studley FC manager Lee Knight said: “This is a total shock to everyone at the club as Nathan is such a placid lad.
“But he’s made a mistake and he’s been punished for it. He will serve his time and the club will support him when he comes out.
“Nathan will have to sort out his problems in life first and then think about playing football.”