A former Northampton town youth goalkeeper who broke the jaw of an opposition player after a match has been sentenced to 200 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay his victim £1,000 in compensation.
Jak Riley, of Kenmuir Gardens, Kingsley, attacked Northampton Sileby Rangers’ player Jake Newman after a UCL Premier Division match last March when he played in goal for Long Buckby.
Northampton Crown Court heard the 20-year-old ran towards Newman in the centre-circle as the two sets of players were shaking hands and punched him in the face.
Rebecca Herbert, prosecuting, said Mr Newman suffered a fractured jaw as a result of the punch and lost a tooth.
Mr Newman had plates and a screw placed in his jaw to treat the injury and was left unable to eat solid foods for a month.
Mrs Herbert said the attack was completely unprovoked and was carried out for an “unknown reason.”
A victim impact statement, written by Mr Newman, who was on loan from Kettering Town, in June 2014, stated that he had been forced to take four weeks off work and was unable to play football for the rest of the 2013/14 season.
Mr Newman said he had resumed normal eating habits but still suffered from a “clicky jaw” and had trouble sleeping for a couple of weeks after the incident due to the pain he was in.
The court heard that, as a result of the attack, Riley has been given a five-year ban from football by the Northamptonshire FA.
Recorder Geoffrey Solomons, sentencing, said there was “no excuse” for Riley’s behaviour.
He said: “The reason for the attack is unclear, but you lost your temper and struck out and not in an idle way.
“This was a particularly hard blow that broke the jaw of Mr Newman and caused him a lot of pain and discomfort.”
Recorder Solomons said Riley, who pleaded guilty to assault, had come “very close” to a custodial sentence.
Riley must complete the 200 hours unpaid work in the next 12 months. He must pay Mr Newman £1,000 compensation for his injuries and £400 costs.