Beds, Herts & Bucks

Former Chelsea and England footballer Kerry Dixon jailed for pub assault

Kerry Dixon Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Kerry Dixon's attack was described by the judge as shocking and sickening

Former England and Chelsea footballer Kerry Dixon has been jailed for nine months for punching and kicking a man who is said to have called him "fatso".

Dixon, 53, denied assaulting the man at a pub in Bedfordshire in May 2014, but was convicted of the offence last week.

Luton Crown Court heard the assault was captured on CCTV cameras at the Nag's Head in Dunstable.

Judge Barbara Mensah described the attack as "shocking and sickening to watch".

She said the violence was "disproportionate, unnecessary and completely over the top".

The former striker, who scored 193 times for Chelsea, told the court he had been acting in self-defence and thought his victim, Ben Scoble, was going to hit him in the face with a glass.

"He was posing a threat to me as far as I was concerned. I have been glassed in the face before," Mr Dixon told the jury.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption The assault happened at The Nags Head in Dunstable, Bedfordshire

The court was shown CCTV footage of Dixon approaching Mr Scoble, 38, before punching him off a bar stool and continuing to hit him when he fell to the floor.

The judge said the film had drawn "a gasp" from jurors when played during the first week of the trial.

Dixon claimed the pair had a confrontation earlier in the evening during which Mr Scoble was disrespectful and then called him "fatso" in the moments before the attack.

"It's absolutely clear to me, if he did say those words - because this was CCTV without words - he didn't move, seek to strike, or get off the chair," the judge said.

"You were annoyed and clearly going to teach him a lesson."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kerry Dixon's clubs included Chelsea and Southampton

Although Judge Mensah accepted Dixon had shown "genuine remorse" for the attack, she said she had heard nothing to make her consider anything other than a custodial sentence.

"If ever there was a confrontation in a pub where violence did not need resorting to, this must have been it," she said.

Speaking outside court, his barrister Mark Wyeth QC said the Professional Footballers' Association and Chelsea FC had been "very supportive" of Dixon, who was "addressing the difficulties he's had with various problems".

He added that his client had "expressed several times that he felt ashamed and wanted to apologise to Mr Scoble".

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites