A FORMER Saints star has admitted a public order offence after lashing out with his belt outside a Surrey nightclub in December last year.
Jason Puncheon, 31, appeared at Staines Magistrates’ Court on Monday for what was due to be the start of his trial but changed his plea.
The footballer, of The Warren in Kingswood, Surrey, wore a black suit and black shirt as he stood in the dock to enter his guilty plea.
He admitted a section 4 public order offence of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear or provoke unlawful violence.
A further charge of assault by beating was dropped after no evidence was offered by the prosecution.
Bromley footballer Ben Chorley has been charged with contempt of court at Staines Magistrates’ Court accused of taking a picture of Crystal Palace captain Jason Puncheon who was being sentenced on Monday for a public order offence.
Chorley, 35, who gave his address as Oakfield Lane in Dartford, was held in custody.
Puncheon had seconds earlier been handed a community order, requiring him to carry out 210 hours of unpaid work, and was told to pay £250 compensation to a man he struck out at with his belt.
He was also ordered to pay £930 towards prosecution costs and an £85 Government surcharge.
Moments after sentencing Puncheon, District Judge Michael Snow ordered Chorley, who had been sitting at the back of the court, to hand over his mobile phone.
He then asked him to step into the dock and told him: “Mr Chorley, you are now charged with contempt of court. You have taken a photograph in the court of Mr Puncheon in the dock.”
A Crystal Palace Football Club spokesman said of Puncheon’s public order offence: “This was a regrettable incident and entirely out of character. The matter will be dealt with internally.”
Standing in the dock Chorley told the judge: “I’ve never been in court before so I can only apologise profusely. I didn’t know, from the bottom of my heart, that I wasn’t allowed to even take a picture.”
He said he had seen journalists sitting next to him using their phones and thought he was allowed to use his.
He said he had come to court to support his friend, adding: “I can only apologise. I am just taken aback by it.”
Source : DailyEcho