Injured ex-footballer spared jail after nightclub assault
FORMER footballer Oliver Holder has walked free from court after admitting punching another man in a nightclub.
Talented semi-pro footballer Holder, who played for Cirencester, Chippenham and Cinderford, had seen his career wrecked by a car crash.
And a judge admitted the injuries he had picked up in the smash in January earlier this year were far worse than anything he could impose for the offence.
Holder, aged 22, of Lee Close, St Peter's, Cheltenham, pleaded guilty at Gloucester Crown Court to assaulting Daniel Greenwood causing him actual bodily harm on March 8 last year.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC ordered Holder to pay his victim £750 compensation and sentenced him to an electronically tagged curfew from 8pm to 6am five nights a week for the next three months.
Nick O'Brien, prosecuting, said the assault happened in a nightclub in Cheltenham where Holder pushed a friend of Mr Greenwood's.
When Mr Greenwood tried to intervene, Holder punched him on the nose and knocked him unconscious to the floor.
Mr Greenwood suffered a cut lip and chipped tooth.
Mr O'Brien said Holder was of previous good character.
Giles Nelson, in mitigation, said Holder "deeply regrets" the way he behaved that night.
Mr Nelson said Holder conceded that he had been drinking at the time of the attack.
"He was really upset with himself for the way he reacted," said Mr Nelson. "He had taken a lot of drink.
"There appears to have been some form of scuffle on the dance floor and he says the victim appeared to push his brother."
Mr Nelson said Holder was schooled in Cheltenham and at Cirencester College, where he gained sports science qualifications.
He had been working until his accident and was also "a very good footballer, playing semi professionally for Cirencester, Chippenham and Cinderford".
"He was earning quite a lot of money at it," said Mr Nelson.
"He has suffered a serious injury and there is no chance of him ever playing football again."
Passing sentence, Judge Tabor said: "Your life has been dramatically transformed for the worst as a result of your accident.
"What I can do pales into insignificance compared to what happened then."