Attack on player costs village footballer 1,500 pounds

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A VILLAGE soccer player was yesterday ordered to pay pounds 1,500 compensation for hitting an opponent and damaging his eyesight.

Neil Bond, 26, from Chilthorne Domer, near Yeovil in Somerset, admitted grievous bodily harm and was also ordered to do 100 hours' community service.

Taunton Crown Court was told that Bond had lashed out after his shirt was grabbed as he and an opponent went for a loose ball in a Yeovil League match between Chilthorne Domer and Wessex FC of Glastonbury. David Baker, 34, of Chilton Polden, near Bridgwater, needed 20 stitches in a face wound, including a fractured eye socket, and may never fully recover the sight in his left eye.

Lynn Matthews, for the prosecution, said: 'He swung behind him and struck Mr Baker, extensively damaging his eye and cheekbone, but never looked round to see how he was and walked straight off the pitch.'

Bond told police: 'No free kick was given. Anything like that makes me lose my temper. I had no intention of causing an injury.' Richard Crabb, for the defence, said: 'It was one blow in the heat of the moment and was not a case of a player seeking revenge.' Judge Graham Jones said: 'It was appalling behaviour'