Roy Keane: Arsenal fan found guilty of assaulting ex-Manchester United player and football pundit with headbutt

An Arsenal fan has been handed a three-year football banning order after headbutting Roy Keane at a Premier League football match.

Scott Law, 43, of Waltham Abbey, Essex, was found guilty of assaulting the former Manchester United midfielder on 3 September last year.

The confrontation took place after Arsenal beat Manchester United 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium, where ex-Ireland international Keane was working as a pundit, the trial at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court heard.

Footage on social media appeared to show Keane's fellow Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards stepping in to split up the fracas.

Keane, 52, said he was left "in shock" by the clash. "I was just walking and, before I knew it, I was hit. I felt the contact and fell back through some doors. I was absolutely not expecting it," he told the court.

He also said he suffered bruising on his chest and arms as a result of the assault.

Law, who denied a charge of common assault, had told the court Keane told him to "meet him outside" after "banter turned more aggressive".

Law's defence team alleged CCTV footage from inside the stadium, shown in court, showed Keane elbowing the defendant in the face.

Judge 'sure' and dismisses 'untruthful' account

Delivering his verdict, District Judge Angus Hamilton said he believed Law had been "untruthful about what happened".

He continued: "There was no reason Mr Keane should have picked on him in particular."

The judge said the former footballer "was calm and not agitated" when he left the studio.

He said Keane's reputation as the so-called "hard man of football" was "years ago and was confined to the football pitch".

"I'm sure Mr Law assaulted Mr Keane."

Law did not react as the verdict was delivered, and outside the court the civil engineer said he planned to appeal his conviction.

He was also ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work, and told he must pay legal costs of £650 plus a victim surcharge of £114.

Richards describes 'surreal moment'

Richards said he was in "disbelief" after the attack and "felt sorry for Roy" whom he called a friend.

The 35-year-old denied accusations from Law's defence barrister that he had claimed to see the headbutt because he was "Roy's mate" and his "stooge".

He told the court: "I felt sorry for Roy. Just because of the fact you've come to work, to do your job and you've been assaulted.

"I could see he was physically shaken up. You do what any friend would do, or any colleague, step in and try to help the situation."

He added: "It was a surreal moment. We weren't going to a UFC match. We were at work."

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'Are you seriously saying Keane ran into your head?'

Law, who was sitting beneath the Sky Sports Studio during the match, said Keane was "angry" throughout the entire game.

He claimed Keane "picked me out and started telling me to see him outside".

When Law went inside the stadium to go to the toilet, he encountered Keane who "collided into him".

Prosecutor Simon Jones KC asked Law during the trial: "Are you seriously saying that Roy Keane ran into the top of your head?"

Law, who cried while being questioned, said: "I put my head down in a defensive manner to protect my face."

Mr Jones said Law's "ridiculous" defence had "changed dramatically" from a prepared statement he gave to police the day after the headbutt.

Asked about the apparent differences in this statement, Law replied: "I'd had no sleep - I was guilty by media. It was the worst night of my life."

Law, a civil engineer, said he had been an Arsenal fan "from birth" and added his Emirates Stadium season ticket was his "prized possession".

He told the court: "It's the main part of my social circle. My wife organises her diary around Arsenal fixtures because she knows I'll be there."