Sunderland AFC fan jailed and banned from football matches after launching sickening attack on fellow fan following argument over his face tattoo
A Sunderland fan broke the jaw of a fellow fan during a “sickening” car park attack on the way to see a match in Yorkshire.
Dean Sinclair was locked up for 18 months over the assault on the 53-year-old victim outside Knottingley Rugby Union Club.
Leeds Crown Court heard Sinclair, of Council Avenue, Shiney Row, Houghton, was part of a group of Sunderland fans travelling to watch their team play a League One game against Barnsley on March 12 this year.
The attack happened when fans' buses stopped at the rugby club for a drink on the way to the match.
Andrew Horton, prosecuting, told the court how trouble flared between Sinclair and other men in the bar area over the tattoo on his face.
Punches were thrown and Sinclair was dragged outside during the disturbance.
Mr Horton said the victim had helped organise the trip and approached Sinclair to calm him down and persuade him to get back on the bus.
The prosecutor said the defendant delivered a punch to the side of the man's jaw which was described by witnesses as "sickening".
The victim suffered a broken jaw, lost teeth as a result of the punch and broke his ankle when he was knocked to the ground.
Mr Horton said the attack took place in front of the victim's 20-year-old daughter and his nephew. A child also witnessed the assault.
The victim had to undergo surgery on his ankle and had to have metal plates fitted to his face.
The victim provided a statement to the court in which he described how he had been unable to do his job as a taxi driver.
Sinclair, who has previous convictions for affray, robbery and possessing an article capable of causing injury in a sports ground, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Probation officer Mike Cooper told the court Sinclair had been "extremely apologetic" when interviewed about the offence.
Judge Andrew Stubbs, QC, jailed Sinclair for 18 months and also made him the subject of a football banning order, meaning he is not allowed to attend a football match in the UK for six years.
Sinclair is also banned from going near grounds in which SAFC or the England national team are playing for 24hours before kick-off.