A bricklayer who identified a Championship footballer as the man who attacked him in a Sheffield nightclub has told a jury he later changed his mind.
Reece Hall told the trial of 23-year-old Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Madine that his cheekbone and eye socket were shattered by a single punch in the Viper Rooms club in Sheffield in March last year.
The jury at Leeds Crown Court heard Mr Hall initially made a statement to police saying he was attacked by a tall man who he spoke to in the club toilets and said he was a Sheffield United fan.
Mr Hall pointed the man out to police and he was arrested, the jury has heard.
Prosecutors said the man who was arrested at the club was Madine.
But yesterday, in evidence, Mr Hall told the jury he’d made a fresh statement to police four weeks after the attack, saying he no longer thought the attacker was the man he’d identified.
Asked by Alison Dorrell, defending, whether the man who hit him was the man who spoke to him in the toilet, he said: “I don’t think it was, no.”
Mr Hall told the jury he’d had about seven drinks of lager during the night and had been out celebrating a 21st birthday.
He said he first spoke to the man in toilet who asked him: “Wednesday or United?”
He said that man was in front of him when he was struck shortly after he left the toilets.
Asked if it was that man who punched him, he told the jury: “I don’t think he did. Having looked back, I don’t see how someone could physically punch you if he’s in front of you, from the side.”
Mr Hall told Ian West, prosecuting, he made his second statement to police when the events of the early hours of March 11, 2012, gradually came back to him.
He agreed that a friend, who did not want to get involved in the case, had told him he had identified the wrong man.
But Mr Hall told the court: “He made me jog my memory. He didn’t influence my statement.”
He told the jury he did not know who had hit him.
“I don’t want anyone to get done if they haven’t done it,” Mr Hall – a Sheffield United fan – said.
He said his cheekbone was broken in five places and he had to have surgery to have metal pins inserted in his face. But he said he was now fully recovered.
The jury has heard Sheffield Wednesday fan Daniel Beresford claimed he was attacked by Gary Madine in the Paris bar, Carver Street, Sheffield, in February last year, and suffered a broken nose.
Madine denies causing grievous bodily harm and an alternative charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Mr Beresford.
He also denies causing GBH with intent and an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm against Mr Hall.
The trial continues.