Roy Keane: Ex-Manchester United star told Arsenal fan to 'meet him outside' after escalation of 'banter', court hears

Roy Keane told an Arsenal fan to "meet him outside" after "banter turned more aggressive", a court has heard.

Scott Law, 43, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of common assault against the ex-Manchester United star relating to an incident on 3 September last year during Arsenal's 3-1 Premier League victory over the Red Devils.

Keane, 52, who is also a pundit for Sky Sports, was allegedly headbutted by Law at the Emirates Stadium, causing him to fall backwards through doors.

Law's defence team allege that CCTV footage from inside the stadium - played at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court - shows Keane elbowing the defendant in the face.

In a prepared statement given to police on the day after the incident, Law said: "Throughout the match there was what I would regard as banter between me and Mr Keane.

"The banter turned more aggressive with Mr Keane gesturing towards me to meet him outside."

He said during a "natural break in the game" he went to use the toilet and was approached by Keane - whose "face looked angry" - in a "very aggressive manner".

Law said he moved his head forward in a "pre-emptive strike" to defend himself against Keane.

He alleged he had seen the former footballer act violently before on the pitch and that he was "scared" at the time of the incident.

'Did not look deliberate'

In court, the Met police officer in charge of the case said there may have been contact from Keane, but that it does not look deliberate.

The officer was asked by defence barrister Charles Sherrard KC: "What possible explanation can there be for raising your elbow at that speed to hold someone?"

Detective Constable Phil Dickinson replied: "In my opinion, he's gone to grab hold of him."

"There may have been contact, but it does not look like a deliberate elbow to the face in my opinion," he added.

Mr Sherrard accused the officer of "lying", calling his response "absolute nonsense" and alleged that police "had done nothing" to investigate evidence pointing away from Law, who was sat beneath the Sky Sports studio during the match.

When Keane was asked how he stopped someone getting away with an elbow to the face, the ex-midfielder said: "I've got bags in my hands, I was trying to grab him to stop him from getting out.

"I must have said nine or 10 times, 'someone call the police'."

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The defence alleges "the red mist descended" on Keane after a VAR decision went against Manchester United towards the end of the match and he was taunted by home supporters.

Mr Sherrard said to Keane in court: "You chose to confront him. When you saw him, you said: 'Say it to my face you fat c***'."

To which Keane replied: "I said that when I was at work? Disagree."

Following the match last year, footage was widely shared on social media of ex-Manchester City footballer and Keane's colleague Micah Richards stepping in to calm an apparent confrontation.

The trial continues.