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Rising star avoids jail sentence.

A BUDDING professional footballer from the Black Country has avoided prison after he smashed a glass ashtray over a man's head in a pub.

Judge Robert Rundell told 21-year-old Jamie Thomas it was "a nasty incident of alcohol-fuelled violence". And he stressed Thomas, of Littleton Road, Wollescote, Stourbridge, had gone "far, far over the top".

But he said that after reading a string of testimonials he was able to avoid an immediate sentence of custody for a man who was "on the fringe of becoming a professional sportsman."

Thomas admitted wounding Jonathan Hill and was sentenced to 39 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.

He was also made the subject of a supervision order, told to carry out 150 hours' community punishment and to pay Mr Hill pounds 750 compensation for his head injury.

After his arrest Thomas told police officers that Mr Hill had a friend in a headlock and he hit him with the ashtray to try and get him released.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Feb 25, 2006
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