Page last updated at 17:51 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Fan charged over 50p coin attack

Assistant referee Phil Sharp receives treatment
Assistant referee Phil Sharp received treatment on the touchline

A man has been charged with battery after a 50p coin was thrown at an official during a Premier League football match at Villa Park.

Assistant referee Philip Sharp was hit on the head during the game between Aston Villa and Portsmouth in October.

Mr Sharp was not seriously hurt but the Crown Prosecution Service said it was in the public interest to prosecute.

John Billington, 43, from Great Barr in Birmingham, is due to appear before magistrates in the city on 15 January.

Mr Sharp suffered a cut to his head but was given a plaster and was able to carry on officiating the match on 18 October, which ended in a 0-0 draw.

Martin Lindop, assistant district Crown prosecutor for Birmingham said: "Following a detailed and careful review of the file, a decision has been reached that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge John Billington with the offence of battery."

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