Devon amateur footballer admits referee attack

Councillor Donald Distin
Image caption Donald Distin suffered facial injuries in the assault

An amateur footballer has admitted attacking a referee during a non-league match in Devon in May.

Grant Hardwick, 25, of Totnes Road, Paignton, appeared at Torquay Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

Referee Donald Distin was officiating between Torre FC and home side Ashburton FC Reserves on 3 May when he was hit in the face.

Mr Hardwick was committed to Exeter Crown Court and is due to be sentenced on 24 July.

Mr Distin, a former mayor of Ashburton, was taken to Torbay Hospital with facial injuries after the attack.

Torre FC, Mr Hardwick's team, withdrew from the South Devon Football League following the abandonment of the match.

As part of his bail conditions, Mr Hardwick was told not to participate in any regulated football match within the area covered by the Devon Football Association.

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