Thursday 21 November 2019

Crystal Palace skipper Jason Puncheon pleads guilty to public order offence after 'belt attack' outside nightclub

Crystal Palace captain Jason Puncheon
Crystal Palace captain Jason Puncheon Newsdesk Newsdesk

The captain of Crystal Palace football club told a bouncer to take his belt and buy a house after using it to lash out at a group outside a nightclub, a court has heard.

Jason Puncheon, 31, appeared at Staines Magistrates' Court on Monday for what was due to be the start of his trial, but changed his plea.

The footballer, of The Warren in Kingswood, Surrey, wore a black suit and black shirt as he stood in the dock to enter his guilty plea.

He admitted a section 4 public order offence of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear or provoke unlawful violence.

CCTV footage played to the court showed Puncheon lashing out among a large group of people in Church Street in Surrey.

He had been with his wife and friends at Mishiko nightclub earlier, the court heard.

Prosecutor Craig Warsama told the court that after the incident outside, Puncheon was "irate".

"He was shouting 'Arrest me, arrest me' in what was described as an aggressive tone," Mr Warsama said.

When a bouncer who had confiscated the belt then tried to return it to Puncheon, the prosecutor said: "Mr Puncheon's reply was: 'Keep it, keep it. Buy it. Buy a house with it.'"

Mr Puncheon was acting in self-defence, his lawyer Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC said, after claiming someone had attempted to strike his wife and that his friend had been punched.

A further charge of assault by beating was dropped after no evidence was offered by the prosecution.

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