Tayside and Central Scotland

Ross Sinclair jailed for breaking player's jaw during football match

Ross Sinclair Image copyright Kingdom News Agency
Image caption Ross Sinclair was playing in the Dundee Sunday Amateur league when he attacked another player

A footballer who hit an opponent with a "reckless" tackle before breaking the man's jaw has been jailed for a year.

Ross Sinclair was playing in the Dundee Sunday Amateur league when the incident happened.

A jury heard Plough Athletic player Sinclair brought down Josh McHugh with a late tackle just minutes before the end of the match.

A fight broke out leaving Mr McHugh with a broken jaw which had to be fitted with two metal plates.

He later said he did not want Sinclair to be jailed for the attack, but Sheriff Alastair Brown said sentencing "couldn't be left to the victim" and jailed him for a year.

Mr McHugh told a jury at Dundee Sheriff Court that he could only eat soup for three months after the attack.

The court was told the incident caused the game between Plough Athletic and Queen Anne on 27 September last year to be stopped and a mass brawl then erupted off the pitch.

Fiscal Depute Eilidh Robertson told the jury: "If someone acts aggressively towards you, even punches you, and you respond by running up behind them whilst they are being dragged away and assault them from behind by striking them so hard that you break their jaw then that is not self defence, that is retaliation."

Sinclair, 20, of Forfar, denied a charge of assault to severe injury, but a jury of eight men and seven women took just an hour to convict him.

His defence solicitor said there was genuine regret on Sinclair's part.

Sheriff Brown said: "You approached the complainer, who was being ushered away, and punched him so hard that bystanders heard his jaw being broken.

"This was not an incident in a game of football. It was an unprovoked and deliberate assault which caused serious injury.

"I can see no alternative but imprisonment."