Soccer star gets eight months for drunk brawl
Former Premier League footballer Kelvin Etuhu was jailed for eight months yesterday for a drunken street brawl which left a man with a broken jaw.
The striker, 22, recently released from his Manchester City contract, attacked Owen Fitzpatrick following a dispute in a casino cocktail bar, Warrington Crown Court heard.
The six-foot footballer was caught on camera kicking the victim three times on the ground after he floored him with a punch.
The star also pushed his own girlfriend to the ground during the incident in the early hours of February 28 last year.
Etuhu previously pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray and was sentenced by Judge David Hale at Warrington today.
The player, of Abbeycroft Close, Astley, Wigan, looked to the floor as Judge Hale told him: "You brought yourself up by your bootstraps, you and your family, having come here from Nigeria with nothing but your talent, grit and determination.
"That is a great credit to you and your family and you have blown it.''
The defendant's older brother Dickson, 28, who plays for Fulham, was sitting in the public gallery with their mother, another brother and relatives.
Peter Cadwallader, for the prosecution, said the violence resulted from a "very minor" dispute inside the casino which ended when Mr Fitzpatrick, 24, and two friends were asked to leave the venue.
The three men then waited outside for Etuhu and his friend Rico Richards, 27, to emerge. The footballer, who was drunk, came out of the casino a short time later, followed by sober Richards, and "completely lost the plot", Mr Cadwallader said.
Amid scenes of confrontation from Mr Fitzpatrick and his friends, Etuhu got out of his BMW, which Richards was driving, and launched the attack.
The player felled Mr Fitzpatrick with a single punch and, when he was on the ground, kicked him three times. More violence followed, the barrister said, as Richards attacked Mr Fitzpatrick's friend Matthew Tryer, 26, and knocked him to the ground.
Richards also attacked Mr Fitzpatrick, knocking him to the ground and kicking him to the head, causing a fractured jaw. Mr Cadwallader said:
"Mr Etuhu, extremely angry, goes toward Mr Tryer in aggressive fashion and at that point the girlfriend of Mr Etuhu came out of the casino.
"For her trouble, (Etuhu) pushed out violently towards her, knocking her to the ground."
Etuhu's girlfriend, who was not named in court, remained on the ground as the footballer and Richards drove off in his BMW, Mr Cadwallader said.