A PROFESSIONAL boxer who bit a doorman at a hotel function has been spared jail for the sake of his promising career.
Glenn Foot had been warned he may be locked up after he was convicted of assaulting bouncer Robert Bute at a fighting event at the Pullman Lodge, in Sunderland, in February.
But after Judge Guy Whitburn heard a jail term would spell the end of the 24-year-old’s sporting career, the welterweight was allowed to keep his freedom.
Newcastle Crown Court heard trouble had flared at the boxing tournament, which Foot was not part of, and resulted in a fight between door staff and a group of men.
Prosecutor Anne Richardson told Newcastle Crown Court: “A jury found the defendant was one of that group. Mr Bute fell to the floor and the defendant sat across Mr Bute’s chest, bit his left ring finger and caused a laceration to it.”
After the assault Mr Bute was taken to hospital where he was found to have a broken left ankle and a black eye.
Miss Richardson told the court prosecutors cannot claim Foot was responsible for Mr Bute’s broken ankle but say he was part of a group that caused it.
Mr Bute said in his statement: “I feel very sad younger persons had to witness what had happened at a family event.
“The incident has made me very sad. My role as a doorperson was to ensure the safety of all persons at the venue.”
The court heard Mr Bute was off work from his job at Nissan, as well as needing time away from his door supervisor role, because of what happened to him.
Christopher Rose, defending, told the court Foot’s licence is currently suspended by the boxing authorities.
Mr Rose said: “He has spoken to the British Board of Boxing and they told him if he is sentenced to custody then that makes it extremely unlikely his licence will be returned.”
Mr Rose said Foot cannot apply to get back in the ring even with a non-custodial penalty until the entire sentence is completed, so even a long community order or suspended jail term could jeopardise his career.
He added: “He was due to box next week and is getting to a critical stage in his career where the fights are getting more important and getting him the opportunity to go for titles.”
Judge Whitburn sentenced Foot to a community order for six months with 100 hours unpaid work, a three month night time curfew and £1,000 compensation to be paid to Mr Bute.
The judge said: “I don’t want to be party to the destruction of your career.
“It is a matter entirely for you, it is a hazardous profession but nontheless you seem to show you are rather good at it.
“I express the hope the British Board of Boxing Control will look favourably on your application for your licence back.”
Foot, of Marley Crescent, Marley Pots, claimed throughout the trial and continues to protest that he was nowhere near the hotel that night and had nothing to do with what went on.
He was convicted by a 10-2 majority after a trial last month.