Friend of ex-City star cleared of GBH over attack on stranger during night out in Norwich

Former Norwich City player James Maddison. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd.

Former Norwich City player James Maddison. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd.

©Focus Images Limited +447814 482222

A friend of former Norwich City footballer James Maddison has been cleared of inflicting grievous bodily harm on a stranger who he punched while on a night out with the midfielder.

Nathan Cadby, 21, who was returning to Maddison’s apartment in Norwich following a night out at Mantra on Prince of Wales Road, said he lashed out because he believed James Brown was about to hit him.

The blow fractured Mr Brown’s cheekbone.

Mr Cadby said he was acting in self-defence, denied inflicting grievous bodily harm and jurors at Ipswich Crown Court took less than two hours to find him not guilty on Wednesday.

Mr Maddison, who now plays for Leicester City, was on loan to Aberdeen at the time of the incident on October 9, 2016, during an international football break.

Judge Emma Peters, summing up Mr Brown’s evidence, said Mr Brown was waiting for a taxi with friends at a bus stop when the footballer approached them in the early hours.

“He said ‘Do you know who I am?’ It was quite friendly, not at all aggressive.

“We said ‘We don’t know, why would we?’ He said ‘I’m James Maddison, I play for Norwich City.’

“When we said we didn’t know, he changed a bit and started talking about his trainers.

“He said he earns £7,000 per week. He said he earns more in a month than we do in a year.

“He didn’t ask what I did. He said his shoes were worth more than our outfits.”

Mr Brown’s evidence was that another person approached as he sat at the bus stop and said “You should know who he is”, before delivering a “slap” to his face and punching him when he stood up.

Self-employed carpenter Mr Cadby, of Turner Road, Coventry, said he did not slap Mr Brown and had gone over to hurry Mr Maddison up so they could get back to his flat. He said he punched Mr Brown when he stood up as he “thought he was going to punch me or headbutt me or something”.

Jonathan Goodman, defending, said in his closing speech: “It’s perhaps slightly unusual, even for a young man, to want to boast to three strangers about how much they earn, clothes and shoes, and you may think that’s quite peculiar.

“He left them perhaps bemused but laughing at him.

“However Mr Maddison himself, whatever you think about him and whatever you think about his actions, he was there.”

He added: “Mr Maddison said the aggression started when Mr Brown became aggressive when he stood up.”

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