An Arsenal fan has been banned from watching football for three years after being convicted of headbutting Roy Keane at an Emirates match.

Scott Law, 43, went on trial last week after pleading not guilty to a charge of common assault in relation to an incident where he and Mr Keane clashed on September 3 last year.

The fracas began when Mr Keane and fellow Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards were walking to do the final match analysis after Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United, the trial at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court heard.

The ex-Ireland international, who was working as a pundit for Sky Sports, was headbutted through doors at the Emirates Stadium by Law, of Waltham Abbey, Essex.

Law’s defence team said CCTV footage from inside the stadium, shown in court, displayed former Manchester United player Mr Keane elbowing the defendant in the face.

Scott Law, 43, was found guilty of the attack at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court today

Scott Law, 43, was found guilty of the attack at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court today

The fracas began when Mr Keane and fellow Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards were walking to do the final match analysis after Arsenal's 3-1 victory over Manchester United. Pictured: Roy Keane (centre) and Scott (green) arrow tussle

The fracas began when Mr Keane and fellow Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards were walking to do the final match analysis after Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United. Pictured: Roy Keane (centre) and Scott (green) arrow tussle

Delivering his verdict, District Judge Angus Hamilton said he believed Law had been ‘untruthful about what happened’ during the match.

Mr Hamilton continued: ‘There was no reason Mr Keane should have picked on him in particular.

Mr Keane ‘was calm and not agitated’ when he left the studio, he added.

The judge said Mr Keane’s reputation as the so-called ‘hard man of football’, was ‘years ago and was confined to the football pitch’.

‘I’m sure Mr Law assaulted Mr Keane.’

Law did not react as the verdict was delivered. He was ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work over the next 12 months.

He was also handed a three-year football banning order, where he is not to enter the premises regulated by the Football Spectators Act.

Law must also pay £650 towards prosecution costs and the victim surcharge of £114, totalling £764 to be paid within eight weeks.

Mr Keane said he was left ‘in shock’ by the assault.

Giving evidence, the 52-year-old told the court: ‘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.’

Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards leaves Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on Friday, May 31

Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards leaves Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Friday, May 31

Roy Keane (pictured last week) told the court he was left 'in shock' after the attack

Roy Keane (pictured last week) told the court he was left ‘in shock’ after the attack

Scott Law at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court, north London, on Friday, May 31

Scott Law at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, north London, on Friday, May 31

A social media image of the moment Micah Richards allegedly tried to intervene in the fracas

A social media image of the moment Micah Richards allegedly tried to intervene in the fracas

He said he suffered bruising on his chest and arms as a result of the incident.

Giving evidence to the court, former Manchester City defender Mr Richards denied accusations by Law’s defence barrister that he had claimed to see the headbutt because he was ‘Roy’s mate’ and had become the ex-Ireland international’s ‘puppy’ and ‘stooge’.

The ex-England international said he ‘grappled’ with Law following the alleged incident.

Mr Richards said he was in ‘disbelief’ at what he witnessed, and ‘felt sorry for Roy’ who he described as a friend.

The pundit said ‘you wouldn’t get sent off’ for actions in CCTV footage, shown in court, that Law’s defence team alleged showed Mr Keane elbowing the defendant in the face.

Following the match, footage was widely shared on social media of the former footballer stepping in to calm an apparent confrontation.

Law, who was sat beneath the Sky Sports studio during the match, said Mr Keane was ‘very animated’ and ‘angry’ throughout the game, adding he had ‘never really seen that behaviour from someone who was working in the Sky box’.

He told the court: ‘Mr Keane was puffing his cheeks out. He was right up against the glass. He was banging on the window.

The clip showed chaotic scenes towards the end of Arsenal's 3-1 victory over Manchester Utd

The clip showed chaotic scenes towards the end of Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Manchester Utd

Law (in green) claimed Keane (in blue) came at him and repeatedly called him a 'fatty'

Law (in green) claimed Keane (in blue) came at him and repeatedly called him a ‘fatty’

Keane's colleague Micah Richards (blue) grabs hold of Law (green) then lets him go

Keane’s colleague Micah Richards (blue) grabs hold of Law (green) then lets him go

‘Mr Keane picked me out and started telling me to see him outside. He was pointing to doors in the box.’

Law said he went inside the stadium to go to the toilet and encountered Mr Keane who ‘collided into him’.

Prosecutor Simon Jones KC asked Law: ‘Are you seriously saying that Roy Keane ran into the top of your head?’

Law, who cried while being questioned, said: ‘I put my head down in a defensive manner to protect my face.’

Mr Jones said Law’s ‘ridiculous’ defence had ‘changed dramatically’ from a prepared statement he gave to police the day after the incident.

Asked about the apparent differences in this statement, Law replied: ‘I’d had no sleep – I was guilty by media.

‘It was the worst night of my life.’

Law, a civil engineer, said he had been an Arsenal fan ‘from birth’ and said his Emirates Stadium season ticket was his ‘prized possession’.

He told the court: ‘It’s the main part of my social circle. My wife organises her diary around Arsenal fixtures because she knows I’ll be there.’

The court also heard how Law was seated close to the glass-fronted Sky Sports studio when he made an ‘obscene gesture’ towards the ex-footballer.

Law admitted making a ‘w-ker sign’ towards Keane and demonstrated the gesture for the benefit of the court.

But he claimed he was rushing to the toilet when the former Man Utd legend ambushed him and called him a ‘fat c-‘.

Scott Law, 43, pictured arriving at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court last week

Scott Law, 43, pictured arriving at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court last week

Former footballer Roy Keane was providing punditry for Sky Sports as Arsenal took on his old club Manchester United in September last year

Former footballer Roy Keane was providing punditry for Sky Sports as Arsenal took on his old club Manchester United in September last year

Law denied headbutting Keane, telling the court that he was ‘terrified’ of the 52-year-old former player.

Law also claimed he suffered injuries to his face from Keane’s elbow.

The civil engineer denied but was convicted of common assault by District Judge Angus Hamilton at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.

The judge said: ‘I do submit he has been untruthful.

‘I am sure Mr Law assaulted Mr Keane on 3 September and that assault was deliberate.’

Keane, who gave the court his profession as ‘pundit, allegedly’ told the three day trial the force of Law’s headbutt sent him sprawling backwards through some doors leaving him in shock.

‘I didn’t expect that to happen, not when I was in the workplace,’ he said.

Footage played in court showed the former footballer allegedly throwing an elbow at Law’s face in the brawl but the former footballer denied this was intentional.

‘I didn’t expect that to happen, not when I was in the workplace,’ he said.

Keane denied claims from Charles Sherrard, KC, defending Law, that he revelled in his hardman image.

Mr Sherrard referenced Keane’s brutal tackle on Alf-Inge Haaland, father of Man City striker Erling, in 2021.

He also mentioned the former midfielder’s sending off for stamping on then Crystal Palace player Gareth Southgate in the 1995 FA cup semi-final.

Keane, who was left bruised, told the court he saw the attacker being restrained by Richards, who was trying to make sure he didn’t run away.

Richards said he was in ‘disbelief’ at what he witnessed and stepped in.

‘I felt sorry for Roy, just because of the fact that you’ve come to work to do your job and you’ve been assaulted.

Keane denied claims from Charles Sherrard, KC, defending Law, that he revelled in his hardman image. Pictured: Roy Keane (left) tussles with Alf Inge Haaland (right) of Manchester City during the FA Premiership match at Old Trafford in April 2001

Keane denied claims from Charles Sherrard, KC, defending Law, that he revelled in his hardman image. Pictured: Roy Keane (left) tussles with Alf Inge Haaland (right) of Manchester City during the FA Premiership match at Old Trafford in April 2001

The defence referenced Keane's brutal tackle on Alf-Inge Haaland, father of Man City striker Erling, in 2001 (pictured)

The defence referenced Keane’s brutal tackle on Alf-Inge Haaland, father of Man City striker Erling, in 2001 (pictured)

Roy Keane received a red card for the challenge on Alf Inge Haaland (pictured)

Roy Keane received a red card for the challenge on Alf Inge Haaland (pictured)

The defence also mentioned the former midfielder's sending off for stamping on then Crystal Palace player Gareth Southgate in the 1995 FA cup semi-final (pictured)

The defence also mentioned the former midfielder’s sending off for stamping on then Crystal Palace player Gareth Southgate in the 1995 FA cup semi-final (pictured)

‘I could see he was physically shaken up, so you do whatever a friend or colleague would do – step in and try and help the situation.

‘I sort of grabbed him and pushed him towards further out of the corridor,’ said Richards.

‘I was basically trying to restrain him until security could deal with the matter.’

Giving evidence Law said he saw Keane in the corridor when he was on his way to the toilet.

‘I turn into the corridor – I look up and see Mr Keane coming towards me,’ he said.

‘He said: ‘Say it to my face you fat c***.’

‘He was angry and his face was red.’

Law denied headbutting Keane, telling the court that he was ‘terrified’ of the ex Man Utd legend.

Asked why he was scared, Law replied: ‘Roy Keane is renowned as the hard man of football, still to this day it perpetuated by the media and Sky every week, and there’s another podcast or programme about football’s hard men and all of his red cards.’

Questioned about his head movement towards Keane, Law said he was ‘defending himself, lowering my head down so I wasn’t hit in the face.’

Scott Law (pictured on March 14) had denied a charge of assault by beating

Scott Law (pictured on March 14) had denied a charge of assault by beating

Prosecutors called the attack on Keane (pictured) as 'shocking and unlawful'

Prosecutors called the attack on Keane (pictured) as ‘shocking and unlawful’

‘We both stumbled back, and I was just shocked – I was shocked.

‘I think because I put my head down he just collided with me’.

Describing the fracas with Richards, Law said that he was ‘absolutely petrified’.

He added: ‘His head was in my face, no-one had asked any questions of what had gone on, they just presumed I’d done something wrong.’

The married dad fled the scene following the brawl, as Keane yelled for someone to call the police.

He was arrested the following day.

Law fought back tears as he told the court that he later experienced ‘the worst night of my life.

‘I arrive home, (my wife) says wait outside until I’ve put the children to bed because she didn’t want them to see how I looked.

‘News had broke that someone had attacked Roy Keane, in the media and everywhere.

‘I took two sleeping tablets and I did not sleep for one second.’

Prosecutor Simon Jones KC told the court Law was ‘intent on violence’ towards Mr Keane.

He said: ‘There has been distraction as to Roy Keane’s playing career, that ended 18 years ago.

‘Even cross-examination of a red card he received for an incident with Gareth Southgate in 1995.

Manchester United forward Alejandro Garnacho, seen here taking on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in last September's match, had a late goal disallowed following a VAR review

Manchester United forward Alejandro Garnacho, seen here taking on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in last September’s match, had a late goal disallowed following a VAR review

‘Roy Keane was about to go live on air to millions to give full-time analysis of that game – the idea that he would seek confrontation in the way that has been described lacks credibility.

‘It cannot be reasonable, we suggest, that for a headbutt with such force as to firstly bruise and to then impact on Mr Keane to the extent of him flying through the double doors, that cannot be justified or lawful.

‘Why on earth would Roy Keane run himself into this man?

‘Of course the court will inevitably want to consider the fact that Mr Law could simply have walked away.

‘He chose not to do that.

‘He chose to give Roy Keane no chance, and he head-butted Roy Keane forcefully.’

Mr Jones added that Law was ‘hyped up’ and saw red ‘when he sees the man who captained Manchester United.

‘From the moment that he saw Roy Keane, we say he was intent on violence – that is the reality of the case.

‘The idea that putting your head towards the ground is defending yourself when you can either walk away or walk around, or indeed just put your hands up, is lacking credibility’.

Mr Sherrard told the court that this trial was ‘designed to pat on the back one of football’s notorious hard-men, and protect their own.

‘His chum and supportive pal Micah Richards would back him up no matter what.

‘This has been an unfair and unbalanced investigation.

‘This defendant has not had the chance to either prepare or present his case in the same way as that being brought against him’.

Mr Sherrard said Law giving Mr Keane the ‘w-ker sign’ was ‘part and parcel of the theatre of football.’

He described Keane as a ‘bully’ and ‘good on retribution’, adding: ‘It’s an absurd nonsense to suggest that somehow, premeditated, he was going to be fuelled with anger and go and take on the hard man of football.’

Law, of Waltham Abbey, Essex, denied common assault.

Arsenal went on to win 3-1 with goals from Declan Rice, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus cancelling out Marcus Rashford’s opener.

Kevin Christie, Crown Prosecution Service London North Football Lead Prosecutor, said: ‘This gratuitous and senseless act of violence was completely unacceptable.

‘When anyone attends a football match, either to work or to support a team, they should be able to feel safe and secure in that environment.

‘The Crown Prosecution Service works in close partnership with the police to ensure that all perpetrators of violence at football grounds are brought to justice.’

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