Footballer broke rival's jaw

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A young footballer who smashed a rival player’s jaw after a “cynical foul” has walked free from court.


Jack Bottomley, then 18, punched teen Ryan Durkin once after he was tackled from behind by the victim and hit the floor. Mr Durkin was about to get the yellow card from the referee, but Bottomley “saw red” got up, ran towards him and attacked him.

Burnley Crown Court heard there was the “immediate sound of a crack,” as Bottomley caused a bilateral fracture to the victim’s lower jaw.

Mr Durkin went to the floor, with blood pouring from his mouth, had to have surgery and spent a weekend in hospital.

The defendant told a police officer called to the violence: “I didn’t mean to do it. I feel sick,” and when he was arrested he said: “I have screwed up. I’m sorry.”

Bottomley, who at one time wanted to be a professional footballer, and his victim had been playing for an under 19s teams in a five-a-side league game at Soccer Burnley at Crow Wood Leisure Centre in the town, when the incident happened at about 7pm, on March 24th.

Mr Paul Cummings (prosecuting) told the hearing about 12 minutes into the match, the complainant was involved in a tackle which tripped Bottomley up and the defendant fell to the ground.

Mr Cummings said Mr Durkin had to have an operation to have two metal plates inserted to repair the damage and still had some sensation of injury to his mouth and lip.

Mr Philip Holden (defending) said there was a “degree of provocation” in the cynical challenge.

Bottomley, now 19, of Whitpark Grove, Burnley, had earlier admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and and been committed for sentence by magistrates. The defendant, who had no previous convictions, was given eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months, with 180 hours unpaid work.

Sentencing, Recorder David Potter said he accepted Bottomley was remorseful for the serious injury.