Former Peterborough United footballer jailed following 'horrific' attack on 60-year-old woman

Marcus Maddison played over 200 times for Peterborough United before leaving professional football, citing problems with his mental health.
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Former Peterborough United footballer Marcus Maddison (29) has been jailed for 20 months after an attack on a 60-year-old woman described by a Recorder as “horrific.”

Maddison’s victim told the court that as a result of his punch, she was left with a broken jaw in multiple places, she can’t eat on the left side of her mouth, she has problems with her teeth and gums bleeding and that she can no longer smell properly.

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Maddison was handed down the sentence at Teeside Crown Court on Tuesday (August 8) morning for the incident which took place on September 24, 2022 while he was out drinking with a friend in Darlington.

Marcus Maddison.Marcus Maddison.
Marcus Maddison.

Maddison was out drinking with a friend in the city centre before leaving a club at around 3am to head to a kebab shop in Duke Street.

It was here that Maddison got into an argument with two women – a mother and a daughter – while walking away Maddison was heard saying “f*** off, don’t come near me you fat s***."

When he heard a response of “you f****** wait,” he shouted back “you won’t f****** catch me.”

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When his friend asked Maddison to come home, he refused and continued the confrontation, telling the woman “if you come near me I’ll pelt these chips at you.”

Former Peterborough United footballer Marcus Maddison has been jailed. Photo: Joe Dent.Former Peterborough United footballer Marcus Maddison has been jailed. Photo: Joe Dent.
Former Peterborough United footballer Marcus Maddison has been jailed. Photo: Joe Dent.

Maddison did then throw his cheesy chips at the women before falling over, getting back up to punch the woman in the face.

The defendant then fell to the ground and was left in a pool of her own blood before being taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital.

Maddison was wearing a large “oversized” ring at the time of the punch which the Recorder described as akin to a knuckle-duster.

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Maddison’s defence told the court that he acted under the influence of alcohol and in a moment of panic after falling over – not being able to escape because of an injury – and that he wasn’t aware of the women’s age or vulnerability until being told afterwards.

The court also heard that Maddison has been a victim of previous instances of aggression while on nights out due to his job as a footballer and has decided to give up alcohol following the attack.

He also stepped away from seeing his young daughter to not cause disruption to her in the early stages of her life – were he to be given a custodial sentence.

Maddison gave a no comment interview shortly after being arrested but later handed himself in to police to confess to his actions.

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He pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm without intent at the earliest opportunity Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court on June 20 and was given a third off his 30-month sentence as credit.

Recorder Paul Reid, who handed down Maddison his sentence, said: “You were perfectly capable of walking away – and your friend told you to do just that – but you refused.

"This was a spontaneous assault, albeit horrific in its nature… (the ring) it was a weapon.”

Maddison was playing for Darlington in the National League North at the time of the attack but left the club on October 13 – less than a month after the attack after the parties mutually agreed to terminate his contract.

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Prior to sentencing, Darlington released a statement, which read: “The club were made aware of an alleged incident and conducted an immediate disciplinary investigation.

"After discussions with the player concerned the club agreed to mutually terminate his contract with immediate effect at that time.

"Darlington FC is a fan owned club and has a zero tolerance towards discrimination, violence of abusive behaviour.

He has not played football since and had plans to begin work as a tattoo artist.

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Maddison scored 62 times for Posh in 249 appearances between 2014 and 2020 before joining Hull on loan in January 2021 and joined Charlton the following October.

He stepped away from football entirely in April 2021 citing struggles with his mental health.

He briefly appeared for step-four Spalding United during the 2021/22 season before starting a GoFundMe to help get treatment on a torn meniscus to save his football career.