Ex-Luton and Chelsea star gets nine months in jail

Kerry Dixon
Kerry Dixon

Former Luton Town and Chelsea centre forward Kerry Dixon was today jailed for nine months for assaulting a man in a Dunstable pub.

Dixon, 53, had punched a drinker off a bar stool in a late night attack at the Nag’s Head in High Street North.

Then, as the man lay on the ground, he delivered further punches and two kicks.

Judge Barbara Mensah, sitting at Luton Crown Court, told Mr Dixon that the CCTV footage of the incident had been “shocking and sickening.”

She told him: “Out of the blue we could see you strike him and knock him off his bar stool, you continued to pummel him and kick him on the ground.

“What you did was disproportionate, unnecessary and completely over the top. You were clearly going to teach him a lesson.”

But she said he had shown remorse and does exemplary voluntary work in football coaching.

The Nags Head incident took place in the early hours of May 15 last year.

The former footballer was captured on the pub’s CCTV system attacking 38-year-old father-of-two Ben Scoble and the footage was played to the jury during the five-day trial.

Dixon, of Jardine Way, Dunstable, pleaded not guilty to a charge of assaulting Mr Scoble occasioning him actual bodily harm but was found guilty by the jury a week ago.

During the trial, Dixon had claimed to the jury he was being hassled by Mr Scoble, who went and sat on his stool by the bar where he had been sitting with his girlfriend through the evening.

The CCTV footage that was played showed Dixon approaching the victim and taking his pint glass from the bar and placing it on a nearby table. Moments later he delivered a flurry of punches, knocking the builder off the stool and down onto the floor of the pub, where he continued the attack.

In the witness box, Dixon had claimed he feared he was about to be attacked by Mr Scoble and struck out in a pre-emptive strike, which he said was in self defence.

He said that although he had removed the pint glass from the bar, the victim was still holding a near empty pint glass in his left hand on the bar.

Dixon told the jury that he still bore the scar of a glass attack that happened in another pub in Dunstable ten years before.

He claimed that had been running through his mind when he struck out.

Dixon told the jury that when he asked the other man to get off his stool, he was told “f... off, fatso!”

Earlier in the evening, he said the victim had been disrespectful to him in the pub’s lavatory, when Scoble had asked him “Are you the drug dealer? Well are you? Have you got any?”

Giving evidence, Mr Scoble told the court he had not spoken to Dixon in the pub’s lavatory and he denied he had been abusive to him at the bar.

Following the jury’s verdict of guilty, the court was told Dixon had a previous conviction for driving with excess alcohol in 2000 and had been cautioned for common assault in June 2002.

Mark Wyeth QC defending Dixon urged the court to suspend the sentence adding: “He has shown genuine remorse and has expressed several times that he felt ashamed and wanted to apologise to Mr Scoble.

“He is a proud man and feels he has not only let himself down but others too. He is not someone who acts in a violent way and was never regarded as an aggressive player at the height of his fame, in fact, quite the reverse.”

He said he had suffered financially during the year he has been awaiting trial and had been working as a labourer and caring for his parents who are both in ill health.

The judge also ordered Dixon to pay £500 compensation to Mr Scoble and a £100 victim surcharge.