Gary Madine jailed for Sheffield nightclub attacks on fans

image captionGary Madine has a history of violence

A footballer who assaulted two fans in separate attacks in nightclubs has been jailed for 18 months.

Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Madine was convicted last month of assaults on two men in clubs in the city.

Madine, 23, hit Daniel Beresford in the Paris Bar in February 2012 and, four weeks later, attacked Reece Hall in the Viper Rooms, Leeds Crown Court heard.

His barrister said he had thrown away his talent due to "drink, childish behaviour and a temper problem".

Judge Rodney Jameson QC sentenced the footballer, who has a previous conviction for assault, to 12 months for causing Mr Hall grievous bodily harm and six months for causing Mr Beresford actual bodily harm.

Broken jaw

Madine's trial had heard he punched Mr Beresford, a Sheffield Wednesday fan, knocking him unconscious and breaking his nose.

Mr Beresford said Madine, who joined the Owls from Carlisle United and is originally from Gateshead, had been staring at him in the bar and, when he had asked why, the player lashed out.

The victim had told the jury: "He was one of my favourite players, someone I looked up to."

The court was told Mr Hall, a Sheffield United fan, was left with a broken jaw and a fractured cheek after Madine asked him who he supported.

Bricklayer Mr Hall, who did not recognise the Wednesday striker, replied "United", and moments later he was punched in the eye.

He suffered a broken jaw and his cheek was fractured in five places.

In both cases Madine was cleared of more serious charges - counts of causing grievous bodily harm against Mr Beresford, whom he said he hit in self-defence, and of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Hall.

'Lashed out'

Alison Dorrell, defending Madine, said: "He is not an asset to his club any more." She told the court he would struggle to restart his career after serving a prison sentence.

Judge Jameson said the assaults had happened when the footballer "lashed out" when drunk with "little, if any, thought for the consequences".

He said: "When sober there is no reason to suppose that you would misbehave but I have to sentence you for serious offences which reflect the other side of your character; the side which comes out when you are in drink, which causes unprovoked violence causing serious injuries to innocent members of the public."

Madine was ordered to pay £1,500 in compensation to Mr Beresford and £4,200 in court costs. Ms Dorrell said she believed this would be difficult for the defendant as he had not been paid by the club since he was convicted last month.

She said although he had been earning £5,000 a week he was struggling to pay a mortgage on the house where his family lived.

Judge Jameson said he would vary the compensation and costs if evidence could be provided that proved the defendant was in a difficult financial position.

He said he was conscious of the position of the footballer's family but said: "Much of the £5,000 a week went on high living."

The judge said other professional footballers had rebuilt careers after serving time in jail and told Madine there was no reason why he could not.

Sheffield Wednesday said they had no comment to make yet and would issue a statement in due course.

Madine joined the South Yorkshire club from Carlisle in January 2011 and was top scorer with 18 goals as the team won promotion from League One in 2012. Last season he scored four goals in 35 games in the Championship.

The striker, who has had loan spells at Rochdale, Coventry and Chesterfield, came on as a substitute in the first two games of this season but has not played since.

The defence told the court Madine has been training with Carlisle United and had undergone an anger management course in an attempt to address his temper issues.

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