Tyne & Wear

Newcastle striker Nile Ranger admits police assault

Nile Ranger
Image caption Nile Ranger acted in self-defence, the court heard

Newcastle United striker Nile Ranger has been given a 12-month conditional discharge, after admitting assaulting two police officers during a night out.

The 21-year-old was also accused of assaulting two revellers on the same night out in Newcastle last August.

But these charges were dropped after Newcastle Crown Court heard the player, of Forest Hall, North Tyneside, was racially abused and was struck first.

Ranger was ordered to pay compensation of £750 to each of the police officers.

The court heard that at about 02:00 BST on 27 August last year, the player was approached by a group of white males and a confrontation ensued, which resulted in Ranger punching two of them.

The prosecution accepted that he had been the victim of racial taunts and that his actions were in self-defence.

'Different picture'

He fled the scene but, when police tried to detain him, he twice pushed them away, causing minor injuries.

The court heard the charges of causing actual bodily harm were dropped because, on review of the CCTV footage, Ranger was shown to have been acting in self-defence.

After enhancing the images, the footage showed that one of the males attempted to hit the player first.

Judge John Evans said: "The picture that the court is presented with is very different to that which was first contemplated.

"The prosecution have had the opportunity of considering the CCTV footage and it shows a different picture to what was first understood.

"I cannot know what happened that night; only those involved know that. After the confrontation, you delivered two pushes to the police officers, who suffered limited injuries.

'Extremely drunk men'

"It has been going on now for a year and I accept during that time you will have attracted quite a deal of publicity that may well have impacted your life."

The judge said that, provided Ranger stayed out of trouble for the next 12 months, he would hear no more of it.

In a statement after the hearing, Ranger's solicitor said: "He was subjected to verbal abuse by members of an extremely drunk group of men. The verbal abuse turned into racial abuse and he was then physically attacked.

"He struck one blow to each of the two white males who attacked him and he then took to his heels and ran away.

"He was approached by police officers shortly afterwards. He struggled with them when he should not have done as he was in a state of panic at the time they approached him.

"He apologises for this conduct towards the officers."

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