Thug who knocked teenage ref unconscious with kung-fu kick walks free from court
Published 10:40 18/04/12 By Paul Byrne
A thug footballer who knocked a ref unconscious with a ferocious kung fu kick to the head has walked free from court.
Raging Philip Giles, 22, launched the attack on the teenage official after being sent off.
Blood-soaked ref James Johnson, 19, woke up in an ambulance and could not see out of his damaged right eye. The student feared he had been blinded.
He needed six stitches in the gaping wound and was kept in hospital overnight. The attack has left him with a permanent scar.
The court heard that the referee had warned Giles about his behaviour and foul language during an amateur Sunday league encounter.
But the unrepentant thug swore at James again and was shown the red card. As the ref started recording the sending off in his notebook, apprentice electrician Giles sprinted towards him, jumped with both feet off the ground and kicked the official in the face with his left boot.
The judge, Recorder Arthur Noble, said the offence was serious enough for the thug to be jailed but “by a whisker” he felt able to suspend a 10-month prison sentence for two years.
He added: “It doesn’t need me to emphasise to anyone reading a paper or seeing a photograph of this injury that it was extremely unpleasant indeed.
“You risked causing permanent damage to this man’s eyesight. It appears you regarded the referee with less than favour for some time, and used foul language to an official trying to do his job.”
Giles, of Moston in Manchester, will be supervised by the Probation Service for a year.
He was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and must pay £750 to the victim.
Kate Hammond, prosecuting, said James had no clue about what had happened until he came round in the ambulance.
James, a politics student at Manchester University, told police the attack would affect him for life. He said: “I was unconscious for a while. There was blood everywhere. I thought I had been blinded as I could not see through one eye. It was terrifying.”
Giles, who admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm said he was “infuriated” by the referee during the game in Chorlton, Manchester, in October, as his team, Waldorf FC, trailed 2-0 to Woodsend Athletic then conceded a penalty.
The player said he thought James had been “winding him up” during the Manchester Amateur Sunday Football League match.
Michael Knowles, defending at Minshull Street crown court in Manchester, said Giles, who has been banned by the league, had acted on the spur of the moment, had never been in trouble before and had shown remorse.
James, from Hereford, receives £25 for officiating each game.
He was given a Manchester FA respect award this year for his bravery in returning to refereeing after the savage attack.