A Wakefield Trinity Wildcats player who sexually assaulted a complete stranger before throwing a heavy glass tumber into her face after she slapped him has been jailed for two years.
The victim suffered permanent scarring and damage to her left eye when Gregory Johnson grabbed the glass tumbler from her financee and threw it at her.
Bradford Crown Court heard today (Tuesday) that the force of the blow knocked Johnson’s victim to floor of the Yates Bar in Huddersfield leaving her in ‘’agonising pain’’.
The attack took place in February just a few weeks before she was due to get married and the blow to her face resulted in her needing stitches to her nose and eyelid.
Johnson, 21, of Newsome Road, Huddersfield, pleaded guilty at previous hearings to sexual assault and causing her grievous bodily harm.
His barrister Phillip Tully said Johnson had expressed genuine remorse for his actions which were wholly unacceptable.
Mr Tully said: “Clearly if this young man could turn back the clock to before he acted in such a foolish manner in drink on that night he clearly would,”
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC was handed references on behalf of Johnson from the Wildcats, including former head coach John Kear, and Mr Tully said his client had been offered a new contract on condition he did not lose his liberty.
The court heard that Johnson had been involved in public order incidents in the past which Mr Tully said were linked to his use of alcohol.
Mr Tully said that had stopped since the attack.
Judge Durham Hall told Johnson: “You are a rugby player of note,
“You have clearly contributed to the clubs for whom you have played. You have clearly worked extremely hard to achieve such success. You are highly thought of and I have read two excellent references.”
But the judge said Johnson forgot he was subject to the law and forgot that he was not free to molest anyone who took his fancy.
Judge Durham Hall said Johnson was clearly someone with the ability to act impulsively and disastrously.
The judge said the case involved higher culpability on Johnson’s behalf because he had grabbed the glass deliberately and used it as a weapon against a completely unarmed and innocent human being.
Johnson was given a concurrent three-month jail term for the sexual assault and he will also have to register as a sex offender with the police for the next seven years.
After the hearing Wakefield Wildcats issued this statement: “Johnson, who joined the club in April until the end of the 2011 season, has been immediately dismissed by the club following being found guilty of the incident which took place in February 2011, before he joined the Wildcats.”