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Footballers avoid jail for attack near Sugar Hut
7:00am Friday 24th August 2012 in Local news
FOUR footballers who kicked, punched and stamped on a teenager outside a Brentwood nightclub, have narrowly avoided jail.
Former Southend United player Kyle Asante, 20, from Ingatestone, was joined by footballers Jack Giddens, Charlie Dove, both 20, and Arthur Lee, 19, in launching a “ferocious” attack on 18-year-old Samuel Thorpe outside the Sugar Hut nightclub, on October 30 last year.
This week, Asante, a striker now with Concord Rangers on Canvey, Dove, from Brentwood, Lee, from Hornchurch, and Giddens, from Dagenham, each received a nine-month suspended sentence at Basildon Crown Court after pleading guilty to a charge of actual bodily harm.
Each defendant was seen in the dock carrying an overnight bag, but was spared jail by the Recorder Elroy Claxton, who told the men they had their friends and family to thank for their reprieve.
Speaking to the defendants, Recorder Claxton said: “The letters that have been prepared on your behalf before this hearing have really helped your cause along with the support shown by those who know you.
“You need to thank the people here today who clearly love you, as what you did seems to be totally out of character and could have left the victim dead.”
The court heard the foursome had launched the attack in an alleyway near the nightclub, made famous in the TV show the Only Way is Essex.
An argument had broken out between the group and the victim inside the nightclub at about 11.30pm which led to them all being thrown out.
The court was told the footballers then went to find Mr Thorpe, who had tried to make peace with them, and proceeded to kick, punch and stamp on him in the alleyway, just off William Hunter Way.
The victim was left with several injuries, including a deep cut to his left eyebrow and back of his head, a grazed forehead and left knee, three chipped teeth and brusing to his chest and right arm.
Prosecuting barrister Samantha Lowther told the court taxi drivers, who had told the group to leave Mr Thorpe alone, were also sworn at and threatened with violence by the footballers.
Alongside the suspended sentence, each of the men must pay £125 compensation and complete 200 hours of unpaid work.