Footballer Found Guilty of Assaulting Policeman
A footballer was given an 18-month conditional discharge yesterday after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer. Wayne Thomas, who now plays for Burnley, pushed Sergeant John D'Arcy as the officer ushered him into the tunnel at the end of his former club Stoke City's match at Millwall last year.
The 26-year-old of Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, had denied assaulting the Metropolitan Police officer in the execution of his duty - claiming he only pulled his arm away from him - but admitted he may have sworn at him.
The defender, who yesterday wore a black suit and tie and white shirt, looked composed as District Judge Anthony Woodcock passed sentence.
The south-east London court earlier heard claims that Thomas gesticulated from the dugout at opposing fans with his middle finger raised.
The defendant had denied this, saying that when one of them shouted a sexual insult about his mother, he responded by holding up his hands in a one and a zero to show the score.
Although the judge previously ordered a charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to be dismissed, he accepted there had been 'interaction' between the crowd and Thomas.
He also said that Thomas's chanting of 'Easy' - which the player said he did during friendly banter with a young boy - or of the score, had been a 'very silly thing to do'. …