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Added August 29th, 2016 by Ian

Soccer player jailed a year for brutal tackle

A soccer player from Wrexham, Wales was handed a year-long jail sentence for a brutal tackle on an opponent during a game last October. Nicholas Williams was handed the sentence after a jury ruled he was attempting to exact revenge on Andrew Barlow when his attack broke Barlow’s leg. The incident took place in a cup game in the Welsh National League Division One with Williams playing for a team called Cefn Albion and Barlow playing for AFC Brynford. The court heard that Williams began complaining to the referee after being on the receiving end of a 50/50 tackle with Barlow.

The 26-year-old Williams then waited for an opportunity to take revenge on Barlow and it came around the 30 minute mark. His tackle was so devastating that it broke Barlow’s leg and left it dangling there. The referee said it was the worst thing he’d ever seen in football and promptly called off the game. The jury in Caernarfon came back with a unanimous guilty verdict after they decided Williams deliberately attacked Barlow. The judge then ruled he should serve a year in previous for the offence of grievous bodily harm.

Elen Owen, the prosecutor for the case, told the court that Williams wanted to hurt Barlow as revenge for the earlier tackle in the match. Barlow told the court that Williams was yelling at him angrily throughout the contest and added, “I saw him coming towards me from behind on my right. I tried to jump out of the way. I couldn’t get high enough out of the challenge. He caught me with his studs in the middle of my shin. All I remember was looking up and seeing my leg flopping and going into the ground.”

Williams tried to tell the jury that the incident was simply nothing more than a freak accident. He admitted that he put a lot of energy into the tackle and heard Barlow scream when his leg snapped. Mark Stokes, the referee for the game, said Williams didn’t make any attempt at all to kick the ball and he simply kicked Barlow in the leg on purpose as hard as he could. Barlow’s lawyer stated that his injured client has been off of work since his leg was broken 10 months ago and rods had to be inserted into his leg. He added that Barlow also has nightmares over the incident in which he sees his leg flopping from side to side. There was no word of punishment from the soccer league or financial restitution to the injured Barlow.

 
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