Ex-Town player's relief at avoiding jail

FORMER Ipswich Town starlet Darryl Knights has spoken of his relief and regret after avoiding jail for attacking two men.

Colin Adwent

FORMER Ipswich Town starlet Darryl Knights has spoken of his relief and regret after avoiding jail for attacking two men.

The 21-year-old striker was given a 43-week suspended sentence after admitting one count of actual bodily harm and a charge of common assault.

The ex-Chantry High School pupil took part in an attack on Martel Adams and James Wells, after Mr Adams insulted Knights' football ability and his younger brother Kyle, who had been seriously hurt in a motorcycle crash.

After his sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court, Knights said: “I am relieved it is finally over because my girlfriend is heavily pregnant and due on Monday. I just want to get back and be by her side.

“I do regret it (the attack). It's so stupid when I think about it now. Something like that caused so much aggro. It was just unnecessary. It could have been avoided.”

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The court had previously heard Mr Adams had a conversation with Charlotte Woollard, a friend of Knights', on May 24 last year, which was relayed to the footballer by telephone.

When Knights heard what was said, he and another man went by car to the area of the Manor Ballroom on the outskirts of Ipswich town centre to confront Mr Adams.

After arriving they set about Mr Adams and Mr Wells with Knights attacking Mr Wells and the other man, who has never been prosecuted, hitting Mr Adams with a pole around his head and shoulders.

Sentencing Knights, currently with Kidderminster Harriers, Judge David Goodin said: “Charlotte Woollard did you no favours when she made that call. Having said that, the person who responded was you.

“I have no doubt it was your intention to sort him (Mr Adams) out, but I accept when you got there a serious offence was added - by reference to your brother and his illness - to what was, for heaven's sake, a pretty trivial insult about your footballing skills.

“You should have been 'man enough' to shrug your shoulders and to not get in the car, because trouble follows trouble as it so often does.”

Earlier, Emma Rutherford, mitigating, had handed testimonials to the judge from Knights' family and Kidderminster Harriers.

She said Mr Adams' insults had “hit a raw nerve” with Knights.

Miss Rutherford said one of the comments was that Mr Adams hoped Kyle Knights would remain in a coma following his accident.

She added this made Knights see red at the time, but he bitterly regretted his actions now, particularly against Mr Wells who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Knights, who now lives in Kidderminster, was sentenced to 43 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months for the actual bodily harm. He was also given a 13-week suspended sentence for common assault, to run concurrently.

In addition he must pay �1,000 prosecution costs, �150 compensation to Mr Wells and do 120 hours of unpaid work in the community.