Nottingham Forest thug jailed for 24 weeks after headbutting Billy Sharp

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Nottingham Forest fan Robert Biggs has been jailed for 24 weeks for headbutting Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp.

Biggs, 30, of Ilkeston, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates' Court to occasioning actual bodily harm, Nottinghamshire Police said on Thursday morning. Biggs, a season ticket holder at the City Ground, was jailed for five-and-a-half months after he admitted to the charge. He also admitted going on to the playing area at a football match.

During the court appearance, the Forest supporter was informed that a separate charge of illegally entering the playing surface had been removed. He did not oppose an application for a banning order from future football matches.

Marianne Connally, District Crown Prosecutor for CPS East Midlands, said: "This was an extremely serious and unprovoked assault with a professional footballer standing at the side of the pitch left requiring stitches.

"Biggs has soured what should have been an incredible moment for the club and its fans. As a result of his actions, he won’t be able to enjoy seeing his club compete in the Premier League should Forest win the Championship play-off final.

"The CPS has been working alongside the police to ensure that this unacceptable act of violence has been dealt with quickly and decisively. Sporting events are occasions for the whole community to enjoy. Football banning orders are an important way to ensure those who cross the line at matches do not have the opportunity to put others at risk.”

Sharp, 36, a former Forest player, was standing in the dugout as the pitch invasion unfolded. In footage that circulated online, Biggs charged towards him at speed with his head, knocking the forward to the ground.

The footballer wrote on Twitter that "one mindless idiot ruined what was an unbelievable night of football." He said: "As an ex-Forest player I will not let one scumbag ruin my respect for the Forest fans."

Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom described how Sharp was blindsided after the match. "Bill was minding his own business, off the pitch. Trying to get our players away and he was assaulted, blind-sided. It was cowardly," he said.

"He was knocked to the ground, needs stitches. Really shook up. How can our safety be put at risk at our place of work?" “It (the assault) is a prison sentence waiting to happen. We have the footage and something will be done about it."

Forest had already pledged to ban whoever attacked sharp for life from the City Ground.

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