Football field attacker avoids jail

A WHITHORN footballer narrowly avoided jail this week after assaulting an opponent during a Sunday League game.

Ian Bell, 22, of Isle Street was banned from playing football in the league for two years by the Scottish Football Association and was told by the court to seek anger management help after admitting the assault on Scott Gemmell.

The court heard how Bell had been tackled by Mr Gemmell last September during the match at Kirkcowan and reacted by kicking and headbutting him, causing his nose to bleed. Both players were sent off.

Mr Gemmell was taken to hospital where it was discovered his nostrils were both fully blocked and deviated, and were required to undergo correction under general anaesthetic.

Defence Lawyer Michael Kilkerr said: “Mr Bell has played for the same team for many years and regrets this incident, and accepts he requires some sort of help in terms of anger management.”

Sheriff Kenneth Robb imposed the maximum hours of community payback available, telling Bell there would be no discount for his guilty plea.

He added: “The only discount you’ll receive is that you are not going to jail.”