Story from Wales Online
A promising Cardiff City midfielder knocked a woman unconscious and assaulted her friend during a night out at a popular city centre nightclub, a court has heard.
Kevin Sainte-Luce, 19, punched Anna Wadey and pushed her friend, Laura Bennett, to the ground as the pair celebrated a friend’s 18th birthday at Glam Nightclub on Greyfriars Road.
The 19-year-old, who trained with Cardiff City Academy, was drinking and dancing with friends when the incident took place in the early hours of Saturday, November 3.
Rhys Thomas, prosecuting, said the girls were dancing when Sainte-Luce punched Miss Wadey “for no obvious reason”.
He added she had been knocked unconscious and suffered a badly bruised jaw and cuts to her mouth.
Miss Bennett, 23, said she was determined not to let Sainte-Luce leave the club.
“I didn’t want to let him get away with it,” she said.
“I shouted at him ‘why did you hit a girl?’ but he didn’t show any emotion.”
She added: “When I first saw him, he looked really angry and aggressive. I felt quite scared. He took a step back and lunged at me. His fists were clenched and he shoved me with both hands.”
Geraint Richards, defending, said the footballer had acted in self-defence.
Speaking with the help of an interpreter, the 19-year-old said: “She was right in my face and she was shouting and swearing at me. She was provoking me and I just wanted her to go away.”
He added Miss Bennett had stumbled because she was tipsy and wearing high heels.
Miss Bennett denied the accusation, saying: “I was mildly tipsy, but I did not fall over. I do not remember swearing at him.”
District Judge Bodfan Jenkins said: “It seems to me these were the actions of a courageous and determined young woman. She felt intimidated, but she still took on the role of ensuring he did not escape without sanction. She acted in a spirit of friendship.”
He added he did not believe Saint-Luce had acted in self-defence.
“I do not find that Miss Bennett acted in the banshee-like way described by the defence,” he said.
“His evidence does not show a real fear of attack.”
Sainte-Luce, of Fairwater Grove East, was arrested on November 10, after handing himself into the police.
He pleaded guilty to assaulting Anna Wadey on November 27, but denied assaulting Laura Bennett. He was found guilty of assaulting Miss Bennett and will be sentenced at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on January 15.