Footballer jailed for hurling glass in club

Leon McLoughlin
Leon McLoughlin
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A semi professional footballer who hurled a glass across a nightclub has been jailed.

Father-of-two Leon McLoughlin, 30, of Deepdale Road, Deepdale, Preston, who plays for Longridge Town Football Club, is beginning an eight-month sentence after admitting affray.

It happened during a fracas at the Rift and Co club on Main Sprit Weind, Preston, on Boxing Day last year.

Prosecuting, Frances McEntee said: “CCTV footage was recovered from Rift and Co, off Church Street, and the footage was then reviewed.

“The Crown say what is shown is something of a melee within the premises and while that melee is ongoing the defendant throws a glass across a crowded room and at one stage appears to pick up a bar stool but thankfully puts it down before doing anything with it. He is subsequently seen at the front door of Rift punching at another male.”

Defending him, Philip Holden, said: “He is extremely concerned for his children should he receive a custodial sentence. It’s my submission that his contrition and remorse is seemingly heartfelt.

“He didn’t go out to look for trouble, he doesn’t know how the trouble started but he has to accept that he stupidly got involved. It is worthy of some note that the complainant did not wish to complain to police and there are fortunately no victims per se.”

Judge Robert Altham said the footballer had a record of breaching previous suspended jail terms.

He added: “What’s plain is between 11.30pm and midnight there was a very crowded scene in the premises.

“Many people were there and were at close quarters in a very crowded scene.

“Some trouble began and I accept you weren’t the cause, but you involved yourself in it in a significant way.

“You picked up a glass from a table and you hurled it into the crowd. It’s necessary to point out it was not hurled at head height, but it was thrown into a crowded room. Common sense dictates what a dangerous action that was.

“You could have directly injured someone, but it was also a dangerous action because it led to a real possibility of the violence becoming worse.”

Lee Ashcroft, player manager for Longridge Town said: “He has been a pleasure to work with, and is well liked. He always turned up on time and is always ready to learn.

“We would be happy to have him back. We all make mistakes, and he will do his time.

“He’s been a breath of fresh air since he came in.

“It was surprising when he told us what had happened and we were gutted about his sentence.”