Ashford footballer begins two year sentence following racist assault on opponent

Contributed by editor on Feb 18, 2017 - 10:11 PM

A footballer from Ashford is starting a two year sentence in a young offenders’ institution after admitting a racially aggravated assault on an opponent.

The assault took place on 27 February 2016 at a Kent County League match between South Darenth FC and Kennington Reserves FC at Sandyhurst Lane in Ashford.

19-year-old Luke Burdon from Ashford, was playing for the Kennington side when he elbowed an opponent, who had just successfully tackled him, in the face. He used racist language directed at the victim while he carried out the assault.

Burdon was sent off by the referee.

The victim, a 22-year-old South Darenth player who lives in London, was knocked to the ground but eventually carried on playing as there were no substitutes available.

He attended a London hospital the following day where an x-ray revealed his jaw had been broken in three places. He was then taken to Kings College Hospital for surgery.

The Judge at Canterbury Crown Court rejected an application by the defence to consider giving Burdon a suspended sentence, and gave him two years custody in a young offenders’ institution.

Sergeant Wayne Shepherd from Kent Police said: ‘Racism is completely unacceptable in any circumstance. The ‘let’s kick racism out of football’ campaign is well-known, and this particular case shows that there are serious consequences for those who engage in that behaviour.’

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