A man has been jailed for 24 weeks after pleading guilty at Nottingham magistrates court to assaulting the Sheffield United captain, Billy Sharp, at Tuesday’s playoff semi-final at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground.
Robert Biggs, 30, from Ilkeston, Derbyshire, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He was told that a charge of illegally entering the playing surface had been dropped.
los Nottingham Forest season ticket-holder appeared in court from custody and did not oppose an application for a football banning order during the hearing.
The prosecutor Marianne Connally told the hearing that Sharp needed four stitches to a wound on his lip after being head-butted by Biggs. Connally said the incident was caught by cameras covering the match for live television.
She told the court: “A large number of fans entered the field of play. Mr Sharp hadn’t directly participated in the game. He appears to be standing with his hands in his pockets. Mr Biggs can be seen to run along the pitch. He then head-butts Mr Sharp. The crown’s case is that this is a deliberate and senseless act of violence.”
Connally said Sharp fell backwards to the ground and had an injury to the inside of his mouth, which was treated with stitches by United’s club doctor.
“He has not seen it coming,” the prosecutor said. “There is certainly no suggestion he was goading anyone at the time. Mr Biggs has, to his credit, turned himself in. It’s an assault on an employee, effectively in his place of work.”