Essex

Southend footballer jail term suspended and reduced

Ryan Hall
Image caption Hall admitted affray when he appeared before magistrates

A Southend United footballer jailed following an argument at the club's Christmas party has had his sentence reduced and suspended for 12 months.

Ryan Hall, 23, admitted affray over the incident on 19 December 2010.

The midfielder was jailed for 20 weeks at Southend Magistrates' Court last week.

At an appeal hearing at Basildon Crown Court, his sentence was reduced to 12 weeks and suspended. He must also do 150 hours of unpaid community work.

The magistrates' court heard the player retaliated after comments made to him and an argument continued outside a nightclub in Chichester Road, Southend.

Hall joined Southend from non-league Bromley last summer and scored his first goal for the club against Rotherham in January, hitting three more since.

In a statement on the club's website, Hall said he wanted to apologise to Southend United supporters and said he had "let everybody down that night".

"In December I made a bad decision and not a moment has not gone by since that I have not regretted the action I took," Hall's statement said.

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