Fake Town player jailed after lying to judge

Action at Hucknall Town FC
Action at Hucknall Town FC

A TEENAGER who told a court he was a promising Hucknall Town footballer has been jailed after he was exposed as a liar.

Alex Russell (19) was spared nine months behind bars for a street assault after claiming he played for the club.

It was also said he had been offered a trial with Premiership outfit Bolton Wanderers and had the possibility of a scholarship in the USA.

But as revealed in the Dispatch, Russell used a forged reference as part of his mitigation, claiming it was written by someone at Hucknall Town.

At Nottingham Crown Court, Judge Ebraham Mooncey reversed his decision and sentenced Russell to an immediate nine months at a young offender institution.

The judge told him: “You lied to the probation service, to your solicitor and to me.”

Russell, of Melford Road, Bilborough, was previously sentenced to nine months, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 150 hours of community service.

He pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm after an unprovoked attack on Sanjeev Bhardwaj (19) near a burger van on Talbot Street in Nottingham city centre on Saturday October 3 last year.

Russell was also ordered to pay the £10,000 dental bill faced by Mr Bhardwaj, who lost three teeth and suffered damage to others.

Russell had no prior convictions but two cautions for shoplifting and threatening behaviour.

At the previous hearing, Judge Mooncey said Russell’s career prospects would be in jeopardy if he were jailed. “By the skin of your teeth, you are getting a suspended sentence,” he added.

But in changing his decision, the judge said: “It has been brought to my attention, through a news article, that Hucknall Town have never heard of you.”

Russell had lied to various people, said the judge, adding: “Your family were completely unaware of what you had been up to. I took the reference from Hucknall Town on trust and the content as genuine.”

The judge said that as a result of jailing Russell, he could no longer order the £10,000 compensation to be paid.

However he did add that Russell’s family, who had been described to him as upstanding and law-abiding, could pay it if they wanted to.

The judge said it was likely Russell would face further allegations because of the deception.