Derbyshire police officer ‘could have lost foot’ after charity match horror tackle

An off-duty Derbyshire police special constable could have lost his foot following a reckless challenge during a charity match, a court heard.

Teenager Thomas Plummer tackled the 39-year-old towards the end of a charity match between Derbyshire police and a youth team from Langley Mill and Heanor.

Heanor Town FC ground.

Heanor Town FC ground.

His studs smashed into the right calf of the special constable and he was immediately sent off. The 39-year-old was left with two broken bones at the bottom of his leg.

At Nottingham Crown Court Plummer, 18, admitted a charge of assault.

The part-time takeaway assistant, of Horsley Crescent, Heanor, was ordered to pay £800 compensation.

The incident happened during a game at Heanor Town football ground on October 22 last year. Plummer, who is at sixth form studying a BTEC in sports studies, walked from the pitch with his head down and did not respond when the referee blew the whistle, resulting in a red card. But he later returned and apologised to the injured player.

He described his foot “as almost facing backwards” towards his lower leg, said David Allan, prosecuting.

The 39-year-old was taken to hospital where metal pins had to be inserted in his leg.

There were further complications when his muscle swelling was cutting off his blood supply to his foot.

An attempt to close his wound failed, so he needed a skin graft. Now he is still going for regular check-ups at a hospital fracture clinic.

The court heard the game had been played in good spirits and there were rolling substitutions, with the defendant substituted off at one stage.

“He said he was ‘getting frustrated with members of his own team’,” explained Mr Allan.

“The complainant came on at the end of the second half as did the defendant.

“The police team levelled the score at two all before the final whistle. The complainant received the ball near the halfway line. He played the ball away.

“The defendant made what might be described as a flying tackle with his studs colliding with his right calf.”

Mitigating for Plummer, Jas Jandu said he had no previous convictions and earned £90 a week at a takeaway.

Judge Steven Coupland said: “He broke both bones in the bottom of his leg and left him in excruciating pain. He was in danger at one stage of potentially losing his foot.”

Plummer was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay the victim compensation.