Liverpool condemns Jon Flanagan after sentence for kicking girlfriend
Liverpool has condemned player Jon Flanagan, who has been sentenced for slamming his girlfriend against a wall before kicking her.
The 25-year-old was ordered to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work and given a 12-month community order at Liverpool Magistrates' Court on Wednesday after previously admitting he assaulted Rachael Wall.
The club said he would now face internal disciplinary action.
A spokesman added: "We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the player's actions during the events that took place, resulting in this criminal conviction.
"It leaves his own reputation damaged and, through association, he has severely let down the club he had previously represented with distinction.
"We have expressed to him our disappointment and anger that he has failed to live up to the values of Liverpool Football Club, in this specific instance."
The court heard that a witness saw the incident, which happened in Duke Street in Liverpool city centre at about 3.20am on December 22, from the balcony of a nearby flat.
Alan Currums, prosecuting, said: "The witness stated he had seen the male throw the female against the wall and then kick her while she was on the floor."
He said the man saw Flanagan place one hand on his partner's neck and one on her throat before he "slammed her against the wall".
The witness said he shouted from his balcony to Flanagan that he was "out of order" and the footballer told him to "shut up", adding: "I'll come and knock you out."
The court was shown CCTV of the incident, taken from outside the Il Forno restaurant, which showed Flanagan hit Ms Wall before pushing her against a wall twice and then kicking her.
District Judge Wendy Lloyd sentenced him to 12-month community order, which will include 15 rehabilitation activity days, 40 hours of unpaid work, £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
She said: "You are, of course. a young man of previous good character and therefore it's undoubtedly sad that you have brought yourself here by your behaviour."
She said the attack was not just a single act.
"It was a matter of this lady going to the floor twice, and you used your foot on her on one occasion," she said.
She added: "The lady was seen to have injuries but of course she said she does not attribute those injuries to you."
Lionel Greig, defending, said the incident was short but unpleasant.
He said his client was not proud of what had happened and had not enjoyed the "negative press intrusion" which followed.
He said: "He deeply regrets his behaviour and there is genuine remorse."
Mr Greig said both parties were under the influence of alcohol at the time and there was no suggestion that there had been any previous violence in the relationship.
He said: "They are back together and working very hard at the relationship and supporting one another."
Flanagan, who wore a black suit for the hearing, had pleaded guilty to common assault by beating at a hearing on January 2.
The Liverpool-born player has made more than 50 first-team appearances for Liverpool since making his debut at the age of 18.
He spent the 2016-17 season on loan at Burnley after 20 months out due to injury and has featured only once in the first team this season as the Anfield club were knocked out of the League Cup by Leicester City.