Paul Scholes slams reporters as son sentenced over assault
Paul Scholes asked reporters “what bollocks are you writing today?” as his son walked free from court after admitting assault.
The former Manchester United and England footballer accompanied his son Arron, 19, to court for sentencing after he was convicted last week of twice punching another man in a pub after an England World Cup game last June.
Mr Scholes Sr made the remark under his breath as he came into court and passed the press bench before the hearing for his son began at Manchester Magistrates’ Court.
Arron Scholes twice punched 21-year-old Robert Kemper leaving him with a bruised and blooded face in an incident at the Granby Arms pub in Uppermill near Oldham on June 18 last year – the night England played Tunisia in the World Cup.
Both men had been drinking. Scholes, a university student, approached his victim and punched him as he stood in the pub doorway, pushed him outside and punched him again before he was pulled away.
District Judge Samuel Goozee said he accepted this was a “momentary incident” and gave the defendant a 12-month community order, 80 hours of unpaid work, ordered he pay his victim £150 compensation and pay court costs of £775.
Lisa Roberts QC, mitigating for Scholes criticised the reporting of the matter, saying the son of the multi-millionaire footballer had suffered “print abuse”.
She continued: “Perhaps not surprisingly, although regrettably and disappointingly, there was a good deal of reporting about this incident and had this been any other 19-year-old boy there would have been no reporting of this matter.”
Ms Roberts said the facts found by the court were that Scholes had punched his victim twice and had not, “reigned blows” upon his victim as had been said during his trial and printed in newspaper reports.
And she questioned the independence of the pub landlady, Deborah Hardy, who gave evidence as an independent witness.
Ms Roberts said that last week, after Scholes was found guilty, Ms Hardy had posted on social media: “Yes, guilty!!!!”
And when another post appeared saying: “Arron has always been a c***,” Ms Hardy had replied, “Yes x” Ms Roberts told the court.
In fact the defendant is an “ordinary, decent and intelligent young man,” Miss Roberts said.
She added: “Whatever happened in this pub was in any view, out of character for this young man.”
No public apology was aired in court to Mr Kemper. In a victim impact statement from Mr Kemper, read by Andrea Griffiths, prosecuting, he said: “I feel shocked about the incident. I have recovered from my injuries but I still feel anxious and scared. The incident makes me feel worried that if I run into Arron what would happen.”
Arron Scholes left court without comment, his father shooing away press photographers.