September 22nd, 2016

Redditch man who headbutted his own goalkeeper in match sentenced

Redditch man who headbutted his own goalkeeper in match sentenced Redditch man who headbutted his own goalkeeper in match sentenced
Lee Bourke: 32 week prison sentence suspended for 12 months.
Updated: 4:13 pm, Aug 18, 2016

A FIVE-a-side football game ended in violence when one of the players headbutted his own goalkeeper after their team went 6-0 down.

The blow knocked out two of the keeper’s front teeth, and at Warwick Crown Court attacker Lee Bourke was ordered to pay his victim £1,500 compensation to cover the cost of dental work.

Bourke, 21, of Guinness Close, Headless Cross, Redditch, pleaded guilty to assaulting teammate Niall Cowman causing him actual bodily harm.

He was given a 32-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work, pay the compensation at £250 a month and pay £100 costs.

Prosecutor Justin Jarmola said the incident took place in July last year at the BKL pitches at Studley Sports Centre.

Mr Cowman, who had known Bourke for some years, was in goal as their side went 6-0 down in the game, which was being refereed by a former police officer.

The scoreline led to comments from Bourke towards the keeper, at which Mr Cowman took off his gloves and threw them towards him, telling him: “You ginger tw*t, you go in goal then.”

Mr Jarmola said: “There was a gap of about 20 feet, and the defendant went over and headbutted him, and he fell to the floor bleeding from his mouth.”

Mr Cowman had two front teeth knocked out and suffered a cut to his lip and damage to a dental bridge.

The game was abandoned and Mr Cowman was taken to hospital where the teeth were glued back in, but he has had to undergo on-going dental treatment.

Bourke went to Redditch police station the following day and when subsequently interviewed ‘put forward pre-emptive self-defence.’

Nicholas Berry, defending, said Bourke, a self-employed roofer, had no previous convictions, and the incident had taken place ‘in the course of a competition where tempers were raised.’

Sentencing Bourke, Judge Abbas Mithani QC told him: “There is little to be served by imposing a short sentence of immediate custody. The more appropriate course is to suspend it.”