A FOOTBALLER who hit his opponent with a “reckless” late tackle before breaking his jaw when he reacted has been jailed.
Ross Sinclair was playing for Plough Athletic against Queen Anne FC in the Dundee Sunday Amateur league when the match erupted into violence.
Sinclair brought down Josh McHugh with a late tackle just minutes before the end of the match, with Queen Anne FC leading 2-1.
Mr McHugh reacted furiously – hurling abuse and becoming aggressive before a scuffle broke out.
Mr McHugh was then dragged away before things escalated.
But when he turned his back to walk away when Sinclair ran up from behind and viciously attacked him.
Mr McHugh was left with his jaw broken in two places and had to be fitted with two metal plates and four screws.
Sinclair, 20, of Peffers Place, Forfar, denied a charge on indictment of assault to severe injury.
But a jury of eight men and seven women took just an hour to convict him.
Defence solicitor Paul Parker Smith said: “There is genuine regret on his part at becoming involved in this matter.
“The complainer has expressed certain views and given that and the genuine regret here I would submit your lordship could impose a penalty less than the ultimate sanction of the court.”
Sheriff Alastair Brown jailed Sinclair for a year.
He said: “You approached the complainer, who was being ushered away, and punched him so hard that bystanders heard his jaw being broken.
“This was not an incident in a game of football.
“It was an unprovoked and deliberate assault which caused serious injury.
“I can see no alternative but imprisonment.”