A jury has gone out to consider its verdict in the trial of former Premier League footballer Joey Barton, who is accused of pushing over a rival manager at the end of a match, leaving him bloodied and with a broken tooth.
When he gave evidence last week, Barton, 39, denied it was him who shoved then Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel in the tunnel after a League One match between his Fleetwood Town team and the South Yorkshire side on April 13 2019.
Mr Stendel told a jury at Sheffield Crown Court how he was walking down the tunnel in the corner of Barnsley’s Oakwell stadium after his side’s 4-2 victory when he was knocked over by a push from behind, causing him to hit his face on the metal structure.
Video footage shown repeatedly during the trial showed Mr Stendel entering the tunnel followed by Barton, jogging, a moment later.
But the German coach’s collision with the structure was just out of the camera’s view.
Prosecutors say the incident happened after a second half which featured tensions between the coaching staffs of the two sides, with Fleetwood Town’s assistant manager, Clint Hill, receiving a yellow card.
And the 10-person jury has been shown mobile phone footage of the handshake between the two managers at the end of the match during which, Mr Stendel told the jury, Barton was aggressive towards him.
Barton admitted using “industrial language” during the handshake, but denied he was aggressive nor that there were tensions between the two managers during the match.
He explained that he had only tried to explain to Mr Stendel that, if Barnsley did not control their coaching staff, they might be personally liable to substantial fines from the league.
Barton pointed out that, after the handshake, he had a friendly chat with a Barnsley player about his time playing for the French team Marseille and also the referee, before he headed for the tunnel.
He said he began to jog because he wanted to get into the dressing room ahead of his players.
The defendant said the video footage showed him weaving through the crowded tunnel towards the stand.
Barton, who is now Bristol Rovers’ manager, denies one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He sat in the dock listening as Judge Jeremy Richardson QC completed his summing-up on Monday morning.
Barton was wearing dark suit over a white shirt with a dark tie.