Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 18:14 UK

Motherwell star guilty of assault

Paul Quinn [Pic: Spindrift]
Quinn boasted to friends about what he had done

A Scottish Premier League footballer has been convicted of attacking a man and knocking him unconscious at a team-mate's birthday party.

Motherwell FC captain Paul Quinn, 22, punched Andrew Smith to the ground in a Glasgow nightclub after he spotted him chatting to a girl in August last year.

He later followed Mr Smith, 22, outside and knocked him unconscious with another punch.

Sentence on Quinn, of Wishaw, was deferred at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

The court heard Quinn had been out celebrating Motherwell striker Ross McCormack's 21st birthday on 19 August.

Quinn, who became Motherwell skipper after the death of Phil O'Donnell in December, returned to the nightclub after the attack and boasted about what he had done to friends, the court was told.

I felt a punch and my eyesight started going dark and I could feel something hitting the back of my neck and then I fell unconscious
Andrew Smith

Mr Smith reported Quinn to police after recognising him on the Motherwell club website.

The court heard that Mr Smith was chatting to a girl in the VIP lounge of the Classic Grand nightclub when Quinn walked over and asked "is this guy annoying you?", before striking Mr Smith with his shoulder.

When Mr Smith, a trainee civil engineer, asked him to leave, Quinn punched him to the ground.

The two men were quickly pulled apart and club bouncers asked Mr Smith to leave and escorted him outside.

Minutes later Quinn and his friend appeared, threatened Mr Smith and said: "what you gonnae do now?"

The footballer then swung a punch at his victim and again knocked him to the ground, leaving him unconscious.

Mr Smith told the court: "I felt a punch and my eyesight started going dark and I could feel something hitting the back of my neck and then I fell unconscious.

"The next thing I remember was my friend's girlfriend pouring water over my face to wake me."

Hearing difficulty

Amanda Currie, 20, watched the attack from across the road before running to help Mr Smith, who eventually regained consciousness and went home.

He visited the city's Southern General hospital the next day, where he was treated for a swollen jaw and given painkillers.

He now suffers from hearing difficulty in his right ear as a result of the attack.

The court heard that after the assault, Quinn went back inside the club where reveller Graeme Findlay, 24, spotted him boasting about it with friends.

Mr Findlay said: "After leaving, Paul was back in the club about five or 10 minutes later and I saw gestures on the dance floor as if there had been a fight and people were happy.

"They were laughing, tapping each other and throwing fake punches."

Sheriff Sean Murphy QC deferred sentence until July for background reports. Quinn was released on bail.

Quinn was publicly criticised by Motherwell manager Mark McGhee after suffering a broken jaw in a separate nightclub incident in April which caused him to miss the final five matches of the season.

A 39-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident at a nightclub in Wishaw.

McGhee critical of captain Quinn
02 May 08 |  Motherwell
Well's Quinn out with broken jaw
28 Apr 08 |  Motherwell

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