Footy player jailed after king hit and headbutt
Image: NT News
Footballer Warrick Williams will spend over a year behind bars after breaking a man’s jaw on Darwin’s party strip.
The 28-year-old is a Victorian recruit for the Wanderers Football Club and continued to play in the Northern Territory Football League while on bail.
He has pleaded guilty to unlawfully causing serious harm, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years' imprisonment.
The court heard an argument broke out over a piece of litter outside the Istanbul Kebab Bar on Mitchell Street in 2020.
"Not only did you headbutt him... you king hit him at a time when he... was not expecting to be hit," Justice Peter Barr of the Northern Territory Supreme Court said.
"You were a taller and more powerfully built man — no doubt you made that assessment."
Williams claimed he had been provoked by the man's racial slurs towards him.
However, after reviewing CCTV and hearing evidence from both parties, Justice Barr ruled he was not satisfied that the victim had used provocative and offensive racist language.
The judge noted Williams was a talented footballer with a clean tribunal record and had made an effort to turn his life around.
"But an offender who engages in drunken violence causing serious consequences must expect a sentence of imprisonment," Justice Barr said.
Warrick Williams has been handed a jail sentence of three years and four months. He will be released after serving 14 months.