1. ITV Report

Magpies striker convicted of assault

Newcastle United’s Nile Ranger has been given a 12-month conditional discharge and told to pay £750 to each officer. Photo: PA

A Newcastle United player has been given a 12-month conditional discharge after being convicted of two counts of assault by beating against two police officers.

Nile Ranger was also told to pay £750 to each officer. He was cleared of two counts of actual bodily harm on two members of the public.

Ranger was on a night out in Newcastle with his cousin on August 27 last year.

At about 2am he was approached by a group of white males and a confrontation ensued which resulted in Ranger, 21, punching two of them.

But Newcastle Crown Court heard that the footballer had been the victim of racial taunts and that his actions were in self-defence.

He fled the scene but, when police tried to detain him, he twice pushed them away, causing minor injuries.

The court heard the charges of actual bodily harm were dropped because, on review of the CCTV footage, Ranger was shown to have been acting in self-defence.

After enhancing the images, the footage showed that one of the males attempted to hit the player first.

"The picture that the court is presented with is very different to that which was first contemplated.

"The prosecution have had the opportunity of considering the CCTV footage and it shows a different picture to what was first understood.

"After the confrontation, you delivered two pushes to the police officers, who suffered limited injuries.

"It has been going on now for a year and I accept during that time you will have attracted quite a deal of publicity that may well have impacted your life"

– Judge John Evans

The judge said that, provided Ranger stayed out of trouble for the next 12 months, he would hear no more of it

In a statement after the hearing, Ranger's solicitor said: "He was subjected to verbal abuse by members of an extremely drunk group of men.

"The verbal abuse turned into racial abuse and he was then physically attacked.

"He struck one blow to each of the two white males who attacked him and he then took to his heels and ran away.

"He was approached by police officers shortly afterwards. He struggled with them when he should not have done as he was in a state of panic at the time they approached him.

"He apologises for this conduct towards the officers."