Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Madine jailed for 18 months for attacking fans

Mr Madine was found guilty of causing Mr Beresford actual bodily harm and causing Mr Hall grievous bodily harm

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The Independent Online

A Sheffield Wednesday striker who punched two fans in two separate attacks in nightclubs has been jailed for 18 months.

Gary Madine, 23, who has a previous conviction for knocking a man out in a Carlisle pub, punched Wednesday fan Daniel Beresford in the Paris Bar in Sheffield city centre in February last year, breaking his nose.

Four weeks later he punched Sheffield United fan and bricklayer Reece Hall in the city's Viper Room club, smashing his cheekbone.

Mr Madine was found guilty of causing Mr Beresford actual bodily harm and causing Mr Hall grievous bodily harm.

Mr Beresford told the court the Madine, who is originally from Gateshead, was staring at him in the bar in Sheffield city centre. He told the court that when he asked Mr Madine why he was staring at him, the player lashed out.

The victim had told the jury: "He was one of my favourite players, someone I looked up to."

Judge Rodney Jameson QC sentenced the footballer, who will now automatically be sacked by his club, to six months for the ABH on Mr Beresford and 12 months for the offence of GBH against Mr Hall, whose cheekbone was shattered in the attack.

Alison Dorrell, defending Madine - known by some Wednesday fans as Goal Machine - said he had thrown away his talent due to "drink, childish behaviour and a temper problem".

She said: "He is not an asset to his club any more" and said he would struggle to re-start his career after serving a prison sentence.

Judge Jameson said the assaults occurred when the footballer "lashed out" when drunk with "little, if any, thought for the consequences".

He said: "When sober there is no reason to suppose that you would misbehave but I have to sentence you for serious offences which reflect the other side of your character.

"The side which comes out when you are in drink, which causes unprovoked violence causing serious injuries to innocent members of the public."

The judge said Madine had chosen not to "suppress" that side of his character.

However Judge Jameson said other professional footballers had rebuilt careers after serving time in jail and there was no reason why he could not.

Madine, who used to earn £5,000 a week, was also told that he would have to pay £1,500 in compensation to Mr Beresford and £4,200 court costs.

Ms Dorrell said believed this would be difficult for the defendant who has not been paid by the club since he was convicted last month.

She said was he struggling to pay a mortgage on the house where his family lived.

Additional reporting by the Press Association.