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Kick from Blackburn footballer broke player's arm
A FOOTBALLER who delivered a kick which fractured a goalkeeper’s arm during a five-a --side match has been handed a suspended prison sentence.
Jordan Freeman claimed that he had instinctively kicked out after an opposing player had ripped his shirt after he had grabbed at it.
Adrian Bulmer suffered a undisplaced fracture of his left arm and Preston Crown Court heard that the game was abandoned when the incident turned into something of a ‘free for all’.
Freeman, 25, of Tarbert Crescent, Blackburn had been committed for sentence to the higher court by Blackburn magistrates, having earlier pleaded guilty to an assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The offence arose out of a five-a-side game at Darwen Vale School on January 29 this year.
Joseph Allman, prosecuting, said a fight appeared to have broken out after a tackle on the defendant by another player, not the victim in the case.
Goalkeeper Mr Bulmer, 27, ran out towards the player and as he got close, tripped and ended up on the floor.
He thought that Freeman aimed a kick at his head, but he put his arm up in a defensive movement.
He suffered an undisplaced fracture of his arm. It was later thought that he would make a full recovery.
Defence barrister Richard Bennett said Freeman had kicked out instinctively after his shirt was grabbed and it ripped.
The defendant was a skilful player and he himself had asked the referee to do something about excessive attention he was getting.
No action was taken by the referee over a 50/50 challenge.
The defendant thought it should have been noted as a foul, but the protests were ignored, said counsel.
Mr Bennett said: “What happened was not premeditated.
He did not intend serious injury.
“The incident seemed to turn into something of a free for all.
“Then there is a description of some players shaking hands.”
Freeman was sentenced to eight months prison, suspended for 18 months, with 18 months supervision and 200 hours’ unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £250 costs.
Judge Christopher Cornwall said there was considerable uncertainty as to what immediately went on before Mr Bulmer ended up on the ground.
But he said: “If you kick a man while he is on the ground there is no way of knowing the full extent of the harm you may be doing.
“Even this single kick gives some indication as to the power that was contained in it.”