Footballer could be banned for life

A LOCAL league footballer faces a life-long ban from the game after he yesterday admitted hitting a referee. Roy Bevis , who also wrestles professionally as the “Zebra Kid”, hit Andrew Chapman after he was given a red card while playing for Thetford Town against Stowmarket in the Ridgeons League Division One.

A LOCAL league footballer faces a life-long ban from the game after he yesterday admitted hitting a referee.

Roy Bevis , who also wrestles professionally as the “Zebra Kid”, hit Andrew Chapman after he was given a red card while playing for Thetford Town against Stowmarket in the Ridgeons League Division One.

Yesterday , Lowestoft magistrates heard how the sportsman who has a history of violence, lost his temper after realising he had “blown it” in his debut league game for the club.

Bevis, 24, of St Peter's Street in Lowestoft, pleaded guilty to assault by beating on August 13.


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Prosecutor David Hutson, told the court that Bevis delivered an “open palm strike” to Mr Chapman following the card.

Mitigating, Chris Brown, said: “Bevis was getting back into football after a period of not being in the game at a serious level.

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“He was making small amounts of money from it and he was getting himself back into the mindset of being extremely disciplined in his training and his behaviour.

“The moment he saw the red card, he saw red because he knew he had blown it, but the mist only descended as far as that one blow and then he turned around and walked to the dressing rooms.”

It is the second time in just over a month that Bevis has appeared before the courts.

On August 25 he narrowly avoided jail after brandishing a knife in a Lowestoft pub and punching a police officer, and was made the subject of a number of orders aimed at tackling his aggressive behaviour and alcohol problems.

He was also given a 51-week suspended jail sentence and ordered to undertake 180 hours' community service.

Passing sentence yesterday, chairman of the bench, John Nicholls, said: “This was an impulsive act and it was a minor injury from an open handed slap.

“But we cannot ignore that it happened to a match official, a referee, and his authority was publicly questioned in this forceful way.

“We have also looked at your previous history for violence and the total lack of respect for authority your record shows.”

Bevis was fined £100, ordered to pay £100 in compensation and £35 in costs.

But next Wednesday he will face Norfolk County Football Association for a disciplinary hearing which could see him banned for life.

The striker has already been told he will never play for Thetford Town again, but under FA regulations a player found guilty of assault on a match official will be given an indefinite suspension with no review to be considered for five years and a fine of £250.

Richard King, from the Norfolk County Football Association, said: “This matter has not been dealt with yet and he is due to be before the disciplinary commission next week.”

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