South East Wales

Newport footballer Chris Zebroski jailed for attacks

Chris Zebroski Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chris Zebroski signed for Newport County in June 2013 and has scored seven times in 33 appearances this season

Newport County footballer Chris Zebroski has been jailed for four years and four months for two attacks.

The 28-year-old striker admitted four charges of robbery, attempted robbery and assault relating to two incidents.

Swindon Crown Court heard he crashed his BMW into a taxi in December and attacked a witness who filmed him when he got out of the car and tried to take his mobile phone.

He also assaulted and attempted to rob two men in February.

After being jailed, Zebroski had his contract terminated by Newport.

Zebroski, whose former clubs include Cheltenham, Bristol Rovers and Millwall, hit the taxi of Icowalik Vladimirej in Swindon on 14 December.

Another driver, Bala Maddu, thought his car had been hit so began filming the exchange between the two men.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption When arrested, Zebroski told police he was an alcoholic

Prosecutor Colin Meeke said Zebroski hit Mr Madhu in the side of the head and tried to wrestle his mobile phone from him before taking and smashing it.

Mr Vladimirej ran off so Zebroski chased him, pushed him to the ground and punched him at least 10 times, saying "give me your phone".

Mr Meeke said Mr Vladimirej was left battered and bruised.

When arrested, the footballer said he was "a bit over the limit" and did not want police involved.

'Squandered'

He admitted he had gone too far and had panicked and said he did not intend to rob them.

While on bail for these offences, Zebroski attacked and tried to rob two men in Victoria Road, Swindon, after drinking heavily at a friend's party.

Rob Ross, defending, said Zebroski had a problem with alcohol. The court heard he had previous convictions for assault and alcohol-related incidents.

Recorder Ian Lawrie said: "Whatever talent you had as a footballer has been squandered because of alcohol abuse.

"It is a matter of regret if this sentence shatters your professional football career."

Newport County said it worked with the Professional Footballers' Association and Zebroski to try to help him.

But a statement added: "We would like to make it clear that we do not condone any of the actions for which Zebroski has been found guilty.

"Regrettably, the club are left with no other option than to terminate Chris' contract."

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