Footballer with ‘big things coming’ attacked 2 men while model stamped on head

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    A young footballer who had promised “big things” has been jailed for assault after getting into a fight.

    Blue Butler, 21, was found guilty of attacking two men, although his model friend – who stamped on a man’s head during the scrap – walked free.

    Butler was described as a "phenomenal winger" who was "on trials for some great clubs" only five days before.

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    Yesterday (Tuesday, August 1) he appeared in Maidstone Crown Court, Kent, where he was given 15 months in the can.

    Also in the dock with Butler was Jack Smith, 22, George Button, 22, and "self-employed model" Layla Hales, 21.

    The sentencing centred around a night in Dartford in July 2020 where some of the group assaulted strangers.

    Butler was 18 at the time of the attacks, which saw him and Smith caught on camera stamping on and punching Ian Willey after he and his friend left the Clipper pub.

    Hales was 17 at the time and kicked and stamped on the head of an unidentified man.

    Prosecutor Stacey-Lee Holland said: "Mr Willey was struck by Butler and he fell to the floor where he was then subjected to a sustained attack by both Butler and Smith who kicked, stamped and punched him while he was on the ground curled up in a ball.

    "Both defendants then left the area and appeared on the CCTV to fist-bump each other as if in celebration of what had just occurred."

    Smith was also jailed for 15 months as he was on bail for an affray charge from February that same year.

    One month after the initial incident, Butler got into another incident at the same pub.

    Button had been with him, the pair waiting outside the pub for a victim who had refused a fight while they had all been inside.

    They repeatedly kicked and punched him while he was on the ground.

    Judge Catherine Moore, sentencing, said that Hales and Button would both escape jail time as they had not been involved in two separate attacks while on bail but said that Butler’s sentence could not be suspended despite his career.

    Hales from Sidcup, Kent, and Button from Swanscombe, Kent, both pleaded guilty to affray.

    Butler and Smith pleaded guilty to causing Mr Willey grievous bodily harm (GBH) and affray.

    Judge Moore said: "While these three incidents were quite separate and your cases are individual, there are matters of commonality in that each involved truly shocking public violence and the sort that could quite easily have resulted in injuries far more serious.

    "This sort of behaviour, wanton violence in public at night-time when members of the public are going about their lawful business, has a significant effect on society."

    A letter by Butler was read in court, which said: "I was 18 at the time and I was not the man I am today. There are no excuses for my actions.

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    "Today I don't drink, my mind is clear, I have career prospects, I have a footballing contract I have recently signed through a sport agency.

    "These are mistakes I made three years ago and I would like to deeply apologise for my actions and the harm I caused.

    "I don't see the man I was three years ago when I look in the mirror. I don't wish to see the man I was three years ago.

    "Once again, I apologise for my wrongdoing."

    Sports agency Millennial Media recently said to "keep an eye out on [Butler’s] journey" to which he replied, "Big things coming, thanks for the opportunity."

    Hales received a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work and 10 rehabilitation activity requirements.

    Button was given a six month jail term suspended for 18 months with 100 hours of unpaid work.

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