Norwich City striker fined after fancy dress party assault

A Norwich City striker must pay a total bill of �2,115 after pleading guilty to assault – six months after the incident.

Chris Martin appeared before Norwich magistrates yesterday where he admitted assaulting Tony Hawthorne by beating him on August 29 last year.

Martin had previously denied assaulting Mr Hawthorne in Morley St Peter, near Wymondham, but pleaded guilty on the basis of a medical report prepared on his victim.

He was fined �1,000 plus a �15 victim surcharge, ordered to pay �1,000 compensation and must pay costs of �100.

The 22-year-old footballer, from Beccles in Suffolk, declined to comment after sentencing and was driven away in a Range Rover from a car park near the court.

Earlier, Denis King, prosecuting, said the assault took place just after 3am at a fancy dress party.

Mr King said: 'A verbal dispute took place between two guests, one of whom was Norwich City footballer Mickey Spillane, who both then went outside. Mr Hawthorne was another guest at the party. He went over to calm matters down.

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'Martin, who was a friend of Spillane's, pushed Mr Hawthorne to the ground. He suffered pain to his neck as a result of striking the floor after being pushed over. He was treated at A&E for concussion and his injuries included a graze to his elbow and headaches.'

Simon Nicholls, representing Martin, said his client was pleading guilty on the basis of a medical report prepared at the end of last year.

Mr Nicholls said: 'Mr Martin witnessed a confrontation between one of his best friends, another footballer, Michael Spillane, and went across to try and stop more trouble occurring. He felt in the circumstances that was the right thing to do. The report found there was no pathological evidence of any injuries suffered by Mr Hawthorne, so it was not an assault of any consequence. You are therefore sentencing Mr Martin on the basis of a push.'

District judge Philip Browning said: 'At last this has come to an end and I'm glad it's being concluded. There's maybe more to this than we know about.'

As reported, Martin was given a caution for common assault outside a Beccles pub in 2008, and he was also banned from nearly every pub in Waveney after complaints about his behaviour.

Martin exploded onto the first team scene in 2007 with his first goal against Blackpool in the FA Cup fourth round and was then called up for the England under-19 squad. He has scored six goals in all competitions this season.

Michael Spillane now plays for Brentford.