Goalkeeper who brutally attacked referee by knocking him unconscious to be sentenced
- Credit: Archant
A goalkeeper who punched a referee and maimed him for life is due to be sentenced today.
Horsford keeper Aaron Wick punched Karl Smith so hard he knocked him unconscious during a match with Feltwell on September 22 last year.
On March 25, Wick, 36 of Staithe Street, Wells, pleaded guilty to wounding and inflicting grievous bodily harm at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court.
He is due to appear in Norwich Crown Court today to be sentenced.
Lynn magistrates heard Mr Smith suffered multiple fractures and had to be fitted with a metal plate, which he will have to wear for life.
At the hearing, prosecutor Jane Walker said the attack came after a dispute over a red card.
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The court heard he was abusive towards Mr Smith earlier in the game when he was cautioned with a yellow card.
Ms Walker said Wick had previous convictions for violence and sentencing guidelines for the recent attack could see him jailed for up to three years.
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Mitigating for Wick, Ruth Johnson said he had "lost his temper in that flash moment" but that he was undergoing hypnotherapy for his anger management.
Although it was helpful, Ms Johnson said he had to stop the treatment as he could no longer afford it.
The court heard Wick had been subject to a Norfolk FA disciplinary commission which banned him from all football for life. In the referee's report, Mr Smith said the attack happened after Feltwell were up 3-0.
He said: "[The] Feltwell player took the penalty and scored upon which the goalkeeper used foul language towards me. I cannot remember what was said but I remember making a note in my notebook to record the score, the next thing I remember is a policeman kneeling next to me asking if I was OK."