Wiltshire

Former Newcastle United footballer Nile Ranger fined for damaging door

Footballer Nile Ranger has been fined for repeatedly kicking a jammed door at his penthouse flat in Swindon.

CCTV shows the former Newcastle United striker "booting" the communal front door of the apartment block, damaging a lift door, wall and glass panel.

Swindon Magistrates' Court heard Ranger, 23, and a young woman he was with at the time, managed to gain access with the third kick.

He pleaded guilty earlier after submitting a written basis of plea.

Female companion struck

Swindon Town terminated Ranger's contract by mutual consent in May.

Ranger, who had been due to go on trial for one charge of causing criminal damage, had previously pleaded not guilty to criminal damage.

The CCTV, taken in the early hours of 13 April, also appeared to show Ranger hitting his female companion three times in the face.

He was arrested and held on suspicion of assault but never faced any charges.

Prosecuting, Nick Barr told the court the footage should not be played to the court in light of Ranger's guilty plea.

Mr Barr said a caretaker for the building viewed the footage after noticing the damage and identified Ranger to police.

Ranger was arrested and in interview, on 28 April, gave a prepared statement claiming the door had jammed on several occasions and he was simply trying to open it.

Representing Ranger, Tom Roberts said the damage was at "the lower end of culpability".

'Comments from public'

"Mr Ranger is not in a position of the vast majority of defendants before this court," Mr Roberts said.

"They enjoy largely in the public gaze anonymity when they leave the courts. That privilege is not afforded to Mr Ranger by virtue of his celebrity."

District judge Simon Cooper replied: "Really? I've not heard of him".

Mr Roberts said his client had received coverage in the "tabloid national press" and that CCTV of the incident had been "uploaded onto YouTube".

"There are comments made after that video by members of the general public not known by Mr Ranger. He has to put up with that," Mr Roberts added.

The court heard Ranger had a number of previous convictions, including one for criminal damage for which he was fined at Liverpool Magistrates' Court in May.

He was ordered to pay a fine and court costs of £750. He was also ordered to pay the landlord of the flat £2,435.

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