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Joey Barton sent down

Six month sentence handed to soccer star after vicious beating of teenager in Lord Street

Published on May 20th 2008.


Joey Barton sent down

JOEY Barton has been jailed for six months after admitting to beating up a teenager during a night out in Liverpool city centre last December.

The 25-year-old former City player was handed the sentence after he admitted charges of affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, stemming from an early morning fight following a Christmas night out.

Andrew Barton, brother of the Newcastle United midfielder, also admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and a third defendant, Nadine Wilson, 27, pleaded guilty to affray and common assault.

Judge Henry Globe QC, at Liverpool Crown Court, told him it was a "violent and cowardly act."

Barton, 25, of Foxbank Road, Widnes, was caught on CCTV knocking an unidentified man to the ground. He then straddled the man, and punched him four or five times as his cousin threw food at the victim before Barton punched him up to 15 times more.

Minutes later, the player attacked a 16-year-old, punching him and leaving him with broken teeth. It followed a series of verbal confrontations inside a McDonald's restaurant after a night out during which he had consumed 10 pints of lager and five bottles of lager.

Barton had pleaded guilty to the offence last month but the court initially imposed an order preventing details being published after the player's lawyers argued it could prejudice a jury in a separate assault trial he faces here in Manchester.

The court lifted the reporting restrictions after hearing arguments from media organisations that information about Barton's history of bad behaviour was in the public domain.

In the Manchester case, he is due to stand trial accused of assaulting his formerCity team mate Ousmane Dabo in a training ground incident in May last year that effectively ended his career with the club. He has pleaded not guilty.

Barton spent the New Year in prison before being bailed to the Sporting Chance clinic, set up by Tony Adams, to help professional sports people with problems.

He made his return to football in the spring with Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan then pledging his full support to the player.

Judge Globe told him: "Without doubt, the most serious of the three offenders is you. You were restrained by others but ignored them and acted in an extremely violent and aggressive manner."

Barton was ordered to pay £2,500 to Jordan Spencer, the youth whose teeth were broken.

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