THIS was the moment a football thug unleashed a ferocious attack on a police officer and kicked him in the face.
Violent Leonard Pinnick left PC Darren Willis with a dislocated jaw, black eyes and broken teeth after lashing out at the officer who was restraining his drunken father on the ground.
Both men, who are Millwall fans living in Southampton, had been drinking heavily before the two sides met for an FA Cup match at St Mary’s on February 7 last year.
Now the 26-year-old, from Bitterne Road West, is starting a three-year jail term and is facing an eight-year ban from attending football matches for what a judge described as a “reckless”
and “targeted” attack.
Southampton Crown Court heard how the violence, which was captured on CCTV, erupted outside the stadium as the evening game kicked off, when both father and son were turned away for being drunk.
Leonard Pinnick’s father Lee, who was 49 at the time, was being restrained on the pavement after spitting at an officer and telling another “I’ll cut your throat and kill your family”.
Pinnick then ran over to him and kicked out with force, sending the officer’s helmet flying as he made contact with his face.
Prosecutor Fiona Rutherford said: “There was a struggle, then the officer felt a heavy blow to the right side of his face.”
PC Willis suffered a dislocated jaw, swelling to his face, a black eye and cuts to the inside of his mouth from his damaged teeth, making it difficult for him to eat, the court heard.
The Daily Echo reported last May how Lee Pinnick was found guilty of assaulting a police officer, using threatening language and trying to enter a sports ground while drunk, following a trial at Southampton Magistrates’ Court.
He was handed a 14-week jail term, and he was suspended and banned from games for three years.
As Leonard Pinnick was jailed he yelled out to a woman in the public gallery, saying “no, don’t cry over him, don’t cry over that”.
The court heard how the assault happened only one week after Leonard Pinnick had assaulted a ticket conductor on a train returning from a Millwall game and three months after he had repeatedly punched a man at an ATM in Southampton.
Representing Leonard Pinnick, Alistair Wright said his client had kicked PC Willis because he thought excessive force was being used against his father.
Judge Derwyn Hope said Pinnick kicked PC Willis “with a shod foot that was not only deliberate towards that officer, but with a high degree of recklessness.”
He added: “You caused more harm than was necessary and you particularly targeted the officer.”