Shamal George: Man jailed for attacking ex-Liverpool player

Image source, Rex Features
Image caption,
Shamal George used to play for Liverpool

A man who attacked a former Liverpool player outside a nightclub has been jailed for 18 months in his absence.

Ross Gardner, 32, assaulted goalkeeper Shamal George, 23, and his brother at the Red Door bar in Liverpool city centre on 9 March 2019.

Mr George, who now plays for Colchester United, needed hospital treatment.

Judge Andrew Menary called Gardner, who is believed to be in Spain, a "twit" for not attending his sentencing hearing at Liverpool Court Court.

He was convicted of two assault offences, one count of affray and one count of racially aggravated assault.

CCTV footage showed the defendant approaching the goalkeeper's brother and striking him "without any warning at all", the judge said.

Mr George came to his sibling's aid but was also punched by Gardner.

Both men were knocked unconscious.

Image source, Google
Image caption,
The attack on the goalkeeper and his brother happened outside the Red Door bar in 2019

Mr George, who was part of Liverpool's under-23 squad at the time, said he had been unable to train or play games for a month due to an eye injury.

He told the court had been "never felt so scared" and he "thought he would be killed".

Sarah Griffin, prosecuting, said it was their mother's "worst nightmare" that both of her sons were taken to hospital.

The court heard Gardner, formerly of Stapleton Road in Warmsworth, Doncaster, had seven previous convictions including battery in 2017.

Judge Menary issued a European Arrest Warrant for Gardner upon his return to the UK.

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