By Ian Dipple Thursday 14 February 2013 Updated: 14/02 12:34
A STRIKER with Studley FC has been jailed for 16 months after attacking a man in a nightclub leaving him needing extensive reconstructive surgery.
Nathan Edgington pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to inflicting grievous bodily harm on victim Billy Warnock.
The court heard how the 21-year-old, of Binley Close in Solihull, was in Smack nightclub in Leamington in the early hours of Sunday, July 29 last year when for no apparent reason Edgington began tapping Mr Warnock several times to the face and nose before being told to go away.
Later inside the club Edgington grabbed the victim held him against a wall by his throat and punched him, knocking him to the floor, then while he was down he and two other people kicked Mr Warnock a numerous times.
The attack left Mr Warnock with a displaced fracture to his right eye socket and a flattening of the cheekbone. He had to undergo surgery during which titanium plates and false bone were used to repair the damage to his face, and he has been left with continuing numbness to his cheek.
Stefan Kolodynski, defending, said Edgington’s family’s home had been used as security for the family business which got into financial difficulties in 2011.
The business went into liquidation, the home was repossessed and the family broke up.
Edgington moved in with his aunt and began to suffer from a depressive illness which was made worse in May last year when his father suffered a heart attack and underwent open-heart surgery.
Mr Kolodynski said by the time of the attack Edgington was dealing with a lot and had a lot of anger inside him but the offence was totally out of character and he was terrified of going to prison.
"It was a dreadful and very despicable scene. But it comes to this - does this young man really have to go to prison?"
But jailing Edgington, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him kicking someone to the face could cause life-threatening injuries.
"I would very much like to be able to say that a young man like you should have a chance and not go to prison, but I also have to take into account the other young man."
Studley FC chairman Barry Cromwell said he had only became aware of the court case last Sunday and Edgington was not a Studley player at the time of the offence.
He added he was open minded about the player's future with the club.
"I only know what I've read and I would need to speak to the manager but I would be prepared to sit down with Nathan and talk to him when he is out of jail."
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