Roy Keane was ‘absolutely not expecting’ a headbutt, court hears

PA Media Roy Keane wearing a capPA Media

Roy Keane, pictured outside Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, had been at the football match between Arsenal and Manchester United as a pundit

Former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane has told a court he was left “in shock” after being allegedly “headbutted” through doors during a Premier League football match.

Scott Law, 43, of Waltham Abbey, Essex, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of common assault.

Mr Law is accused of assaulting Mr Keane at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in September 2023, following the north London club’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United.

Mr Keane, 52, had been at the game as a pundit.

PA Media Scott Law outside Highbury Corner Magistrates' CourtPA Media

Scott Law argued he threw his head back “in self-defence”

Mr Keane, a former international player for Ireland, told Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court he and fellow pundit Micah Richards were heading to do the final match analysis.

He said: “There was lots of noise and shouting, as you would expect at a football match.

“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. The only way I can describe it is that I was in shock. I didn’t expect it to happen, not when I was in my workplace.”

‘Forceful headbutt’

Mr Keane told the court: “Micah then gets hold of someone. He was just trying to get a grip of him and make sure he didn’t run off.

“I was saying ‘call the police’. For about 15 or 20 seconds Micah was holding him up against a wall (to stop) him getting away.”

Mr Law then fled the scene after Mr Richards lost his grip, the court heard, before the two pundits headed pitch-side to give their post-match analysis.

“We missed the final two goals but that was the least of my worries,” Mr Keane added.

Mr Keane claims to have suffered bruising on his chest and arms as a result of the incident.

A video played to the court showed Mr Law, an Arsenal fan, turning to the pundits’ broadcast box after video assistant referees (VAR) ruled out a goal for Manchester United.

He then appeared to leave his seat before making his way to the club level, where he crossed paths with Mr Keane.

According to the prosecution, Mr Law then delivered a “forceful headbutt” to Mr Keane’s chest.

The defendant then fled the scene but was arrested the following day, the court heard.

‘Aggressive manner’

Mr Law told officers in a prepared statement that Mr Keane had “approached him in an aggressive manner” which caused him to throw his head back “in self-defence”.

But Simon Jones KC, prosecution barrister, said: “Self-defence has no place in this case and there is simply no justification for the defendant’s violence.”

The trial continues and is expected to conclude on Friday.

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