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Bermudian in UK jailed for assault on ex-Liverpool FC star

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A Bermudian forklift truck driver in Britain was jailed after he punched an ex-football star so hard he knocked a tooth out.

Damien Swan, 34, launched an unprovoked attack on Gary McAllister, a former Liverpool and Leeds United player, as he tried to get into a taxi in Leeds with his wife Hayley.

Jailed: Damien Swan, imprisoned yesterday for an attack on ex-Liverpool and Scotland star Gary McAllister (Photograph supplied)
Gary McAllister was attacked by Bermudian Damien Swan (Photograph supplied.)

Leeds Crown Court heard this week that an “intoxicated” Swan swung at Mr McAllister, 56, now the assistant manager of Glasgow Rangers in Scotland, without warning and burst his lip, as well as knocking out a tooth and breaking off a crown.

The incident happened in the early hours of March 24 last year as Mr McAllister, his wife and some friends left a bar in Leeds city centre.

Swan admitted causing actual bodily harm to Mr McAllister and was jailed for five months.

Graham O’Sullivan, for the Crown, said: “The defendant ran around the taxi and for no apparent reason punched Mr McAllister in the face.

“Mr McAllister had no time to defend himself or brace himself and fell straight back. He was left dazed and confused.”

Mr O’Sullivan said Ms McAllister and a friend tried to grab Swan, but he ran off.

He added Mr McAllister was assisted by a police patrol.

Mr O’Sullivan said: “He was taken to Leeds General Infirmary where he needed stitches to repair his top lip.

“The defendant was arrested four days later at his address.

“He told police officers: ’I didn’t even know who it was’.”

Swan, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, also admitted setting his two dogs on three volunteer workers who were renovating a Sikh temple in Leeds only 24 hours after the attack on Mr McAllister.

The court heard Swan accused the men of filming him, unleashed his two bulldogs and “did nothing to stop them” as they savaged the men.

The court heard one of the victims tried to fend the dogs off with a pole, but Swan “disarmed him”.

One of the injured men needed reconstructive surgery after the dog attack and another was badly bitten.

Another still has problems using his right arm two years after the incident.

Robin Frieze, who represented Swan, said his client was suffering a psychotic episode at the time of the offences and had now been referred to a specialist.

He added: “His life has changed dramatically since then.”

Judge Tom Bayliss QC sentenced Swan to five months for the assault on Mr McAllister and 27 months for the attack on the three workmen.

He ordered the sentences to run concurrently – a total of two years and three months behind bars and banned Swan from keeping dogs for life.

Mr Bayliss said: “Mr McAllister had no opportunity to defend himself or brace himself and fell straight back.

“Gary McAllister is well-known in Leeds. He is a footballer of some renown.

“However, I am prepared to accept you did not know who he was and this was not a targeted attack.

“The aggravating factors are the location and time of the offence and the presence of others, including his wife.

“It must have been a terrifying ordeal for her.

“You were arrested and questioned and, less than 24 hours later, you were responsible for a disgraceful attack at a Sikh temple.”

Mr McAllister, who started his playing career with Motherwell in Scotland, was part of Liverpool’s treble-winning side of 2001, alongside Steven Gerrard, now manager of Glasgow Rangers.

The team won the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Uefa Cup.

Mr McAllister won the League title with Leeds United in 1992 and also won 57 caps for Scotland and captained the team for four years.