A FRIEND of former Swindon Town player Luke Rooney has been cleared of glassing a man in an unprovoked nightclub attack.
Joseph Bannan and some pals had come to see the winger play in the match against Port Vale which saw the Robins win the League Two championship in 2012.
But the 22-year-old was identified as the man who smashed a beer glass into the neck of a drinker in The Spot following a police appeal in the Adver and on TV’s This Morning.
Now after a week long trial at Swindon Crown Court a jury of eight women and four men cleared the pal of Rooney, who has since gone to Maidstone United, of any wrongdoing.
They had been told how Daniel Hale was left with blood pouring from the back of his head after he was attacked in the upstairs bar in the Old Town club.
The 20-year-old had gone out with friends on Saturday April 28 and bumped into other pals who were celebrating the eighteenth birthday of another mate, called Charlie.
Mr Hale said he was going to buy a drink for Charlie when he was waiting in the crush at the busy bar.
As he was stood in the crowd in the early hours of the Sunday morning he was aware of being bumped from behind and turned to ask ‘What are you doing?’
He said later he got a good look at the man, who he later picked out as Bannan in an ID parade, saying he was slim and wearing a red pullover.
When he turned away he felt a painful blow to the side of the head and then another to the back of the head which he believed to be punches.
As he moved away he saw blood pouring from the cuts he had suffered to his neck and another drinker, Gareth Davies, stepped in to stop the violence.
He said he had been a few feet away when he saw a slim man in a burgundy jumper hitting Mr Hale, who he didn’t know, in the head with a glass.
In a bid to stop the violence he said he went across and got a good look at the attacker as he ushered the victim away, leaving him covered in blood.
Mr Hale was taken to the hospital by ambulance where he needed 11 stitches in the wound to his neck.
Meanwhile Mr Davies had gone to get a jumper before going on to Suju, and on the way spotted the man he thought had carried out the attack in Domino’s Pizza.
A fracas then took place there as he tried to alert a bouncer to what had taken place but by the time the police arrived Bannan and his friends had gone.
However following the appeal he was arrested and, as well as Hale picking him out, Davies also pointed to him in the video ID parade.
Bannan, of Fawkham, said he and four pals had come down from Kent to see the game and stay at Rooney’s flat afterwards.
He said he was in the bar at the time of the incident in the Spot but was about ten yards away and not involved.
Although sports clothes weren’t allowed in the bar he said lots of people were wearing red because they had been supporting Town winning the championship.
He was cleared of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, unlawful wounding and actual bodily harm to another man.