A man threw cheesy chips at a 60-year-old mum before breaking her nose and leaving her in a pool of her own blood, a court has heard.
Footballer Marcus Maddison launched the one-punch attack as the woman made her way home from Darlington town centre.
The 29-year-old had verbally abused the victim's daughter prior to the incident, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Maddison, who played for Darlington Football Club at the time, had been out drinking in the town with a friend prior to the attack which occurred at about 3am on 24 September 2022.
The court heard Maddison and his friend had stopped to get food at a kebab shop as they made their way home.
It was there that Maddison engaged in a verbal confrontation with the victim's daughter. Throughout the exchange, his friend encouraged Maddison to head home but he ended up throwing cheesy chips at the daughter, with some hitting the victim.
The court heard Maddison fell over as he was throwing his food before getting up and punching the woman in the face, fleeing the scene immediately after the assault.
Robin Turton, prosecuting, said: "There was a steady stream of blood coming from what appeared to be a broken nose. She was in the doorway of a shop in Duke Street with her daughter. She was unable to speak due to her injuries."
The court heard the victim was taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital and an examination revealed swelling and bruising to the left side of her face. A scan revealed multiple mid-facial bone fractures.
In a video interview, the victim said she continues to suffer from numbness to her teeth, damage to her sinuses, and an altered sense of taste and smell. She has pain and struggles with dizzy spells, headaches and blackouts while is now reluctant to go out on her own.
In police interview the defendant made no comment to all questions however, on June 20 he appeared Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court and pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm without intent. The court heard he is of previous good character.
Recorder Paul Reid adjourned the case for a victim personal statement and updated medical evidence. He granted Maddison - previously of High Causeway, Peterborough - unconditional bail and told him to return to court on 8 August for sentence.
Following the hearing, a spokesperson for Darlington FC said: “The club were made aware of an alleged incident and conducted an immediate disciplinary investigation.
"After discussion with the player concerned the club agreed to mutually terminate his contract with immediate effect at that time.
"Darlington FC is a fan owned club and has zero tolerance of discrimination, violence or abusive behaviour. It would be inappropriate for DFC to comment further at this time.”
Maddison started his career at Newcastle United and has also played for Gateshead, Peterborough United, Hull City, Charlton and Bolton Wanderers.
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