Footballer’s jaw broken in attack

Jack Steeden
Jack Steeden
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A promising footballer’s dream of turning professional suffered a set back when he was attacked in a Blackpool nightclub.

The player, who was a member of Blackpool FC’s youth team, required an 
operation to insert a metal plate to repair his broken jaw.

Due to his injury, he was unable to attend football 
trials due to take place soon afterwards.

Steeden, 20, of Buchanan Street, Blackpool was given 10 months detention by a judge at Preston Crown court. He had pleaded guilty to a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm.

This took place on April 12 last year when the victim had gone out with friends.

Lisa Worsley, prosecuting, said the victim had not been drinking when he was attacked at Crystals Bar on the Prom.

Miss Worsley told the court: “As he walked down the steps towards the main bar he felt a heavy bang to the face. Everything went black and dizzy.”

A door supervisor had seen him unintentionally nudge a woman while going down the steps. The woman stumbled. The defendant was seen to swing a full punch at his face.

Steeden was ejected from the premises and subsequently arrested.

In police interview the following month he spoke of being attacked by others and having acted in self defence.

The victim suffered a bilateral fracture of the lower jaw, which was fixed under general anaesthetic with metal plates.

A victim impact statement mentioned that his prospects of becoming a professional footballer were set back as a result of the injury.

He was unable to maintain his fitness levels for about eight weeks.

John Woodward, defending, handed in references on his behalf.

He said had no previous convictions and had stayed out of trouble since the incident.

The defendant’s girlfriend of six years believed the complainant or one of his group had grabbed her backside. That had caused Steeden to react in the way he did.

Mr Woodward told the court “He is terribly sorry about what happened.

“He has been assessed as a low to medium risk of re-
offending.

“He doesn’t go out into Blackpool any more and has stopped drinking.

“He has been chastened by the whole experience of coming to court.

“He is frightened to death of going to custody.”

The court also heard that the defendant had raised considerable amounts of money for charity.