Liverpool FC defender Jon Flanagan is due in court shortly after being charged with assaulting a woman.
The 25-year-old was arrested in the early hours of December 22 in Duke Street, Liverpool city centre .
According to court documents Flanagan is accused of assaulting alleged victim Rachael Wall by beating, an offence which carries a maximum of six months in jail.
He will appear in the dock at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court this afternoon.
Academy graduate Flanagan broke through to Liverpool’s first team in the 2010/11 season.
The defender, who earned an England call-up in 2014, played a part in the Reds’ 2013/14 title challenge but has been plagued by injuries in recent years.
He made 10 appearances for Burnley during his loan spell at Turf Moor last season and this summer spoke of his determination to feature in Jurgen Klopp ’s plans this year.
A Liverpool FC spokesman said: “The club has been made aware of an alleged incident involving a member of the first team playing squad. We will be making no further comment on the matter while the process is ongoing with the relevant authorities.”
“Assault on several occasions”
Judge Lloyd’s decision means Flanagan will not be sentenced today.
The date suggested in January 17.
Judge Lloyd asks Flanagan to stand.
She says she accepts he is a man of previous good character, but suggests the case requires the intervention of the Probation Service.
“I have been given a detailed breakdown of that CCTV footage which shows that you assaulted this young lady not just once but on several occasions during that few minutes in the early hours, once involving your foot…
“Though this lady has several injuries, she claims that you have not seen them.”
Flanagan is allowed to leave court and will be sentenced before Judge Lloyd on January 17.
That concludes the hearing, thanks for following.
“This young lady has been shown significant violence”
LG: “The defendant is a professional footballer and trains hard every day, and therefore doesn’t go out.
“You don’t hear of him in court for all the wrong reasons, this was an isolated incident over the Christmas period.”
Judge Lloyd says: “This a prolonged attack according to the report of the CCTV, and it involves a kick. To me it is a category 2 offence and I think I am going to need a report.
“It is not that simple in domestic violence, they are in a relationship and presumable in love, yet this young lady has been shown a significant degree of violence.”
Judge Lloyd says she wishes the Probation Service to speak to Flanagan.
Mr Greig attempts to change Judge Lloyd’s mind, but she has decided on a report.
She says she is not considering custody, but is looking at a community penalty.
No application for restraining order
Mr Greig addresses the judge on sentencing guidelines.
We have not had a detailed outline of the facts, but we have heard the violence involved a “kick” and took place when both parties were intoxicated.
Mr Greig says the case can be considered as lesser harm and lower culpability according to sentencing guidelines.
He says there is no application for a restraining order from Ms Wall, who is a mum of two young children.
Judge Lloyd asks if the case needs a pre-sentence report.
Mr Greig asks if the case can be dealt with today.
JL: “It is a prolonged assault though isn’t it? It’s more than once incident of violence.”
Mr Greig agrees there were two episodes of violence.
“It was caught on CCTV in Duke Street in the early hours, both parties were intoxicated…
“This is a case in which the complainant has not provided a statement.”
“This is a young man with no previous convictions , he is 25 years of age, he lives at home with his parents, he has been in a relationship with the complainant for a period of 18 months.”
Mr Greig says the parties are still in a relationship and that there had been no other incidences of domestic violence.
Case called on – FLANAGAN PLEADS GUILTY
We are ready to deal with the case of Jon Flanagan.
Mr Greig has entered court and the usher has called the defendant in.
Flanagan, wearing a dark blue suit with a white shirt and blue tie, has been called into court.
He enters the dock and is asked to stand and identify himself.
The court clerk reads the charge to him, which is that he assaulted Rachael Wall by beating on December 22.
JON FLANAGAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ASSAULT
Another case being dealt with first
We’re still waiting to hear when the case will be called on. The courtroom has a busy list today and there is no set order as to which case is heard first.
Judge Lloyd will begin with another case, which is being dealt with now.
Specialist domestic violence court
Flanagan has arrived at court and is in a consultation room with his legal team.
He will be represented in court by Lionel Greig, of Quinn Melville solicitors.
Prosecuting for the CPS is Lynn Clark, while district judge Wendy Lloyd will preside over the hearing.
The courtroom we are sitting in is a specialist domestic violence court.
Video shows Jon Flanagan arriving at court
Flanagan arrives at court
Jonathan Humphries here, court reporter at the Echo.
I will be bringing you live updates from Liverpool Magistrates’ Court where Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan is due to appear charged with assault by beating.
The charge, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail, is known as a Section 39 assault in law and must be dealt with in the magistrates’ court.
If Flanagan pleads not guilty, the bench of magistrates or district judge will set a date for trial and deal with some administrative matters.
If he accepts the charge, and it is important to say there is no indication of what will happen yet, then he may be sentenced today or after the Probation Service have prepared a report.