Sunday league players spared jail after brutal attack on opposition player
Two shamed teenage footballers involved in a ‘disgraceful’ attack on the opposition’s star player have been spared detention because it could have ruined their lives.
Jahn Chohan and Morgan McKensie deliberately targeted 17-year-old Lewis Owen with just minutes to go in the Sunday League clash, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
Chohan and McKensie's team - Perrywoods United - was being thrashed 5-2 by Kewford Eagles from Kingswinford when the pair, both aged 17 at the time, struck on November 20 2016, it was said.
Mr Owen had to have three teeth put back in after two were knocked out and a third was dislodged by a flurry of punches, while he was also stamped on during the attack at Hadley Stadium in Wilson Road, Smethwick.
He now faces operations to replace two or three of his teeth at £2,000-a-time, said Mr Charles Hamer, prosecuting.
The defendants, now both 19, claimed that each acted in over-zealous self-defence but were each convicted of violent disorder after a trial. A third defendant was acquitted.
Mr Simon Phillips, defending Chohan, who was of previous good character, insisted: “He did not start this incident. He did not throw the first punch.
"The incident was between Lewis Owen and another. This was a spur of the moment incident and completely out of character for the defendant in both football and criminal terms.”
Mr Charles Cronin, representing McKensie, also with no previous conviction, said: “There was some confusion as to what actually led to this incident starting but it was not premeditated.”
Chohan, from Greenhill Road, Halesowen, and McKensie, of St Kenelms Avenue, Halesowen, were each given nine months detention at a Young Offenders Institution suspended for 18 months with 150 hours unpaid work and an order for each to pay £2,000 compensation.
Recorder Edward Coke told the pair, who both have university places: “What you did represented the worst aspects of football.
"There was cheating by fouling which led to group violence in front of a crowd of parents who had turned out to watch their sons play football. You are an utter disgrace to the game.
“You brought great shame on your family and friends but I bear in mind your age at the time and your lack of previous convictions.
"If I send you to immediate custody it could ruin your lives because you have got prospects and a job, so the sentence will be suspended.”
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