Ex-footballer Marcus Bent sentenced for affray

Marcus Bent arriving at court Image copyright Dominic Lipinski/PA
Image caption Marcus Bent had previously denied affray but changed his plea last month

Former Premier League footballer Marcus Bent has been given a suspended 12-month prison sentence after admitting affray and possession of cocaine.

He faced charges after an incident in which he was Tasered by police responding to a break-in at his home in Esher, Surrey, last September.

Bent was also given a two-month curfew and 200 hours of compulsory unpaid work by the judge at Guildford Crown Court.

The 37-year-old striker had previously denied affray but changed his plea.

He had denied two other charges of possessing bladed articles, namely a meat cleaver and a kitchen knife, which will be left on file.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Marcus Bent played for Charlton Athletic in 2006

'Wild with rage'

The court heard how Bent had called 999 reporting that he had heard intruders in his flat in Claremont Lane on 13 September.

Two police officers, backed up by armed police, were initially unable to gain access to the property and as they were about to force open the door, the former footballer emerged bare-chested.

Lee Harris, prosecuting, said he was carrying two chef's knives and was "wild with rage".

One of the officers Tasered Bent as he swung the knives in their direction, saying he could see the intruders.

No intruders were found, but police discovered a small amount of cocaine.

Bent later admitted taking "two or three lines of cocaine" and expressed "genuine remorse" for the circumstances.

Andrew Henley, defending, said his client was no longer using cocaine and had self-medicated with the drug.

Judge Stephen Climie told Bent that he had lost his good character and his self-respect but praised him for his work with a youth football team.

The two-month night-time curfew will prevent him from leaving his home address between 21:00 and 07:00.

Bent must also pay each of the officers £500 compensation.

Marcus Bent's career

  • The former striker played 574 games and scored 113 goals for 14 different clubs
  • During his professional career he commanded more than £10m in transfer fees
  • As well as playing in the Premier League he was an England under-21 international
  • Bent made 215 appearances in England's top division
  • He began his career at Brentford in 1995, before signing with Crystal Palace in 1998
  • The next year he joined Sheffield United via Port Vale, before transferring to Blackburn Rovers in 2000, where he got his first taste of Premier League football
  • Bent then went on to play for Ipswich Town, Leicester City, Everton, Charlton Athletic, Wigan Athletic, and Birmingham City
  • He spent three years with Birmingham from 2008 until 2011, during which he spent time on loan at Middlesbrough, Queens Park Rangers, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Sheffield United

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