Footballer Jailed Over Club Attack
A Watford soccer star who took part in a savage attack on a group of students outside a nightclub has been jailed for 10 months.
Watford FC striker Troy Deeney was caught on CCTV as he kicked one of the victims in the head during a night out, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
The 23-year-old footballer, who pleaded guilty to affray at an earlier hearing, was arrested shortly after the fracas, which left one man with a broken jaw and another requiring 20 stitches to a mouth wound.
Deeney, from Chelmsley Wood, West Midlands, was sentenced alongside three other men, including his younger brother Ellis Deeney, who also admitted affray.
Passing sentence, Judge David Tomlinson said CCTV footage of the incident near the Bliss Nightclub on Broad Street, Birmingham, showed that Troy Deeney and his friend Oliver Brennan played a more serious role in the disorder than the other defendants.
The 30-second video clip, which was played to the court several times, clearly showed both Troy Deeney and Brennan kicking out at the "defenceless'' students, one of whom received repeated blows to the head as he lay injured.
Although the judge accepted that none of the grievous injuries inflicted on the victims could be attributed to any particular defendant, he said the kicks to the head were an aggravating feature of the case.
The judge told the defendants: "Three men in particular were singled out for what can only be described as a gratuitous beating.
"All four of you to a greater or lesser degree joined in but the effect of it was that these three men, who were already heavily outnumbered, became even more so as a result of what you all did.
"At least one kicked a man while he was already on the ground and very probably had already suffered a really serious injury.''
The court heard that the students were set upon after a man demanding entry to the Bliss club had a metal pole taken off him at about 2.20am on February 29.
Troy Deeney, who joined Watford from Walsall in August 2010 for an initial fee of #250,000, urged a woman sitting in the public gallery not to cry after he was sentenced.
The striker scored 12 goals for Watford last season. The club said it was fully aware of the sentencing but had no further comment to make.