Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Footballer jailed for casino brawl

Manchester City striker Kelvin Etuhu has been jailed for his part in a drunken brawl during a night out
Manchester City striker Kelvin Etuhu has been jailed for his part in a drunken brawl during a night out

Premier League footballer Kelvin Etuhu has been given an eight-month prison sentence for a drunken street brawl which left a man with a broken jaw.

The Manchester City striker, 22, attacked Owen Fitzpatrick following a dispute in a casino cocktail bar, Warrington Crown Court heard.

The 6ft footballer was caught on camera kicking the victim three times on the ground after he floored him with a punch.

The fight broke out after two groups of clubgoers had earlier squared up in the Manchester 235 Casino 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.

Etuhu, 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."

Earlier, the court was told Etuhu had been released from his contract at Manchester City, in part due to the criminal proceedings. The defendant's older brother Dickson, 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, and amid scenes of confrontation from Mr Fitzpatrick and his friends, Etuhu got out of his BMW, which Richards was driving, and launched the attack.

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