Ipswich Town: Striker Paul Taylor spared jail over pub assault
- Credit: Andy Abbott
An Ipswich Town footballer who attacked a doorman during a drunken night out had been frustrated because injury had ruled him out of playing for his new club, a court has heard.
Paul Taylor had run off after the incident at the Robert Ransome pub in Ipswich last October but was later arrested, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said during the assault 25-year-old Taylor, who had been drinking heavily, punched doorman Shaun Grey in the face.
The striker had played just three times for Ipswich before breaking a foot following a £1.5 million summer transfer from Peterborough United, and the injury ruled him out of action for the rest of the season.
Simon Spence, mitigating, said: 'The fact he wasn't able to play was perhaps a source of frustration which led to his behaviour that night.
'He is a young man with a promising career ahead of him and he is looking to put this incident behind him.'
At an earlier hearing Taylor, of Rendlesham, and Olatunde Ademuyiwa, 24, of Liverpool, described as Taylor's best friend, admitted assaulting Mr Grey causing him actual bodily harm. Ademuyiwa also admitted assaulting another doorman, Gary Harper, by beating.
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Judge John Devaux described the incident as 'ugly' and sentencing Taylor to a 24-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to pay £750 costs and £7,000 compensation to Mr Grey. Ademuyiwa was sentenced to 34 weeks suspended for 18 months and was ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work in the community.
'This was a public place in the early hours of the morning and you were both fuelled by alcohol,' said the judge.
Taylor's girlfriend, Jodie Twitchett, who was heavily pregnant at the time, admitted assaulting Mr Harper at an earlier hearing at Ipswich Magistrates and had already been given a 12-month conditional discharge.
Mr Grey suffered a bruised cheek bone, a broken finger and lost a tooth in the attack, the court heard. He has been unable to work ever since and his injured finger is still swollen.
Mr Crimp said that Mr Grey had asked the men to drink up as it was approaching midnight. At 12.15am they tried to leave the pub with their glasses but were told they couldn't.
'Mr Taylor asked what they were going to do about it and Mr Grey took the glass from his hand and a struggle took place in the doorway.'
Mr Grey fell to one knee and Ademuyiwa stamped on his hand. As the men were pushed out of the pub, Taylor and Ademuyiwa punched Mr Grey in the face, said Mr Crimp.
Mr Spence told the court: 'As a young man in Liverpool, Mr Taylor mixed with the wrong people.
'He made a conscious decision to leave that life behind and pursue the talent that he had by way of a career as a footballer.
'Through no fault of his, he suffered an injury which has meant he has not be able to play properly for Ipswich.
'Being in the public eye means the club itself expects certain levels of behaviour from its players and disciplinary action has been taken by the club and punishment handed out.'
Juliet Donovan, for Ademuyiwa, said her client and Taylor were best friends: 'He says he got involved in the fight to assist Mr Taylor.'