Jail for linesman who headbutted man during football match

Nathan Giltinane

Nathan Giltinane - Credit: Archant

A MAN who headbutted a football player while acting as an unofficial linesman for a Sunday league match has been jailed for 20 months.

Nathan Giltinane, 22, was running the line during a football match at Cottenham Village College, near Wilburton, when the incident happened at about noon on February 24.

About 10 minutes before the final whistle, Giltinane’s 18-year-old brother, who was playing for Arbury, tackled the victim, a 30-year-old man from Little Gransden, sparking a brief altercation between the two players.

Giltinane responded by running onto the pitch and headbutting the victim, leaving him with serious facial injuries. He then ran back to the sidelines. The incident was reported to police after the match.

Giltinane, of Hazelwood Close, Cambridge, handed himself in at Parkside Police Station a few days later.


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Yesterday (May 23), he was jailed at Cambridge Crown Court after admitting causing grievous bodily harm.

DC Paul Thornton, who investigated the case alongside officials from the FA, said: “The incident that led to this assault was a typical altercation between players in a football match but Giltinane’s reaction was grossly over the top.

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“The victim was left with significant injuries that required hospital treatment and the whole thing happened in front of many people, including children. The sentence demonstrates that there is never any excuse for violence and it will be treated very seriously.”

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