Coventry & Warwickshire

Nuneaton Town chief executive 'attacked former director'

Ricoh Arena Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The charity ball was held at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry

A football club chief executive launched a "deliberate and unprovoked attack" on its ex-financial director at a charity ball, a court has heard.

Ian Neale, 48, formerly of Nuneaton Town, is alleged to have made "a beeline" for David Allen's table and launched four or five punches.

He is also accused of head-butting Mr Allen in the venue's foyer and injuring two security guards.

Mr Neale, of Redruth Close, Nuneaton, denies three counts of assault.

Mr Neale, who stepped down from his role after the incident in September, said he was acting in self-defence at the event at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, attended by more than 500 people.

'Shaken up'

Rob Perry, prosecuting at Coventry Magistrates' Court, said tempers flared at the NSPCC ball at about midnight on 26 September.

He said there had been a falling out "of some sorts" between the two men before that night.

Giving evidence, Mr Allen said he left the Football Conference club in 2012 because he was "dismayed with Mr Neale's behaviour at the club".

Mr Allen said he suffered bruises to the eye, hand and nose in the alleged attack and needed hospital treatment.

He said it had left him shaken up and traumatised.

"It's made me very wary of going out," he said.

James McLernon, defending, suggested Mr Allen was bitter over the nature of his exit from Nuneaton Town and that Mr Neale was simply acting in self-defence.

'Animalistic behaviour'

"I suggest you were giving as good as you got," Mr McLernon said to Mr Allen.

"I strongly refute that," he replied.

Mr McLernon said when Mr Neale was being restrained, Mr Allen approached him and tried to strike him. Mr Allen said that was untrue.

Security guard Khalid Miah said he was punched twice in the face by Mr Neale. Another security guard, Jacqueline Richards, said she suffered a hand injury.

Mr Miah described the defendant's behaviour as "animalistic".

The trial continues.

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