Update: Sentenced has been issued.
“He is certainly remorseful today. He is a man with a partner, they have a two-year-old together and they’re expecting their second child.”
The words of Paul Mitchell’s defence solicitor in court today as recorded by Birmingham Mail. Mitchell’s lawyer also sought to describe the attack as a moment of madness, “This was totally out of character... He cannot explain what came over himself yesterday morning. His initial foolish intention to go onto the pitch to whip up the crowd.”
Foolish is one word for it. You know the story by now (if you need to get caught up) — this man took it upon himself to enter the pitch at St. Andrews and take a swing at Aston Villa Captain Jack Grealish.
Mitchell pleaded guilty to assault and invading the pitch in court today and expressed remorse.
Remorse may have been his word today — but on Sunday in the aftermath of the actions Grealish appeared to be the focus, ”The officer who was carrying Mitchell off the pitch said Mitchell thought Mr Grealish was a nob.” The prosecutor continued by removing some possible excuses, ”Mitchell claims he was not intoxicated and was with his father and did it as a joke.”
The prosecutor laid out the details of the assault that was shown on national television and read a statement from Jack Grealish. The captain expressed being shocked and scared by the assault and noting the fear of what this kind of action could bring — “It could have been worse had the person had a weapon.”
Magistrates are considering not releasing the address of the defendant because of fears for his and his family’s safety. The defense lawyer says the family has left their home and moved out of Birmingham “in fear of serious harm or death.”
Writer’s note: If you are threatening the family, or Mitchell, online — you too are being “foolish.”
Mitchell’s defense lawyer summed it up, “It has brought shame upon his family and the club he has supported as a child. A season ticket for over 20 years.”
It was not just the incident that brought bring shame — the man and his “foolish” decision did. And the story is not over yet — sentencing is scheduled for later in the day.
Follow us here for updates — and Birmingham Mail more.