Hughes’ alleged attacker guilty of separate assault
A man facing extradition for leaving a footballer brain damaged in a holiday brawl has been found guilty of fracturing a teenager’s jaw.
Joseph Bruckland, 20, of Reigate Road, Hookwood, claims he is innocent of causing grievous bodily harm to former semi-professional footballer Robbie Hughes in Malia in June 2008.
Five other men – Curtis Taylor, 20, Daniel Bell, 21, Sean Branton, 20, all from Horley, Benjamin Herdman, 20, from Worth, Sussex, and George Hollands, 22, from Reigate, Surrey, were extradited to Greece in August on the same charge of assault for the attack on Mr Hughes.
Bruckland, who will have an extradition hearing later this year, was found guilty of a separate assault in Copthorne Village, Surrey.
At Hove Crown Court on September 17, he was found guilty of hitting George Heron, 18, after a fight broke out between their two separate groups of friends on May 24, 2009.
The jury found Mr Bruckland guilty after hearing how Mr Heron, an amateur rugby player, was left needing surgery to insert permanent metal plates in his jaw.
During the trial Mr Bruckland admitted throwing a punch, but argued it was in self defence.
Prosecuting, Annie Toynbee said Mr Heron was cooking a barbecue with friends on the village recreation ground when they were approached by a group of boys pushing bikes wearing cycling shorts and Speedos.
Mrs Toynbee said banter between the two groups over the boys’ clothes turned into a fight, which Mr Heron did not take part in.
After the fight subsided and the groups dispersed, about five men returned with Joseph Bruckland, who then punched Mr Heron.
Mr Bruckland will be sentenced on October 15.
Former Sutton United and Croydon Athletic player Robbie Hughes, of Wallington, suffers from a 10-year memory loss after an assault outside a Crete nightclub in June 2008.
He was in a Greek hospital for three months having a series of brain operations and is still undergoing rehabilitation.