THE son of Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has been ordered to do unpaid work and fined after punching a former friend.
Arron Scholes, who plays football for Royton Town and was sent off in a game shortly before his trial, landed blows on ex-school pal Robert Kemper after a confrontation in a pub and claims he was branded a ‘pussy.’
He lashed out at his victim, who he fell out with after his 18th birthday party, causing facial injuries.
He then reached for his mobile phone and a court was told he ‘jumped up and down’ and ‘laughed hysterically.’
Scholes Snr was at his son’s trial at Tameside Magistrates Court with wife Claire and witnessed CCTV footage several times.
The trial heard the 19-year-old, who lives in the Grasscroft area of Saddleworth, had been drinking in Uppermill on June 18 when he bumped into Kemper after watching England defeat Tunisia in the World Cup.
After moving from the Hare and Hounds, both groups moved on to the nearby Granby Arms.
Footage then shows Scholes pushing Kemper on to a pub table outside and punching him before being ushered away and reaching for his mobile phone.
Landlady Debbie Hardy told the court she saw Scholes speak to someone before dashing out and finding him laying blows.
Scholes never denied punching the 21-year-old but claimed self-defence when pleading not guilty to a charge of assault by beating.
It was claimed at his trial that Kemper had left Scholes feeling threatened after asking him several times to ‘go outside’ after seeing him for the first time since July 2017 and the court was told the victim repeatedly called him a ‘pussy.’
However, Judge Samuel Goozee ignored that claim and found him guilty.
At his sentencing hearing at Manchester Magistrates Court, defence barrister Andrea Griffiths QC said the sentence was far greater than the one handed down.
She said: “The level of personal abuse that has taken place since the conclusion of this case, the pressure that this 19-year-old is under, the impact on him and his family who are thoroughly decent, the impact will be felt on them long after this court has imposed a sentence.
“As a result of this conviction, the fact he has lost his good character is punishment enough.
“He got good A-Levels, he is a university student, he is trying to make his own way in the world, not in the shadow of anybody else.
“No matter the hours of unpaid work imposed, the impact of this court case will shape the way he lives his life. The sentence has already begun.”
Scholes, a first year sports marketing and management student at Manchester Metropolitan University, told police he had ‘smacked’ his victim two or three times because he felt intimidated as he was older and bigger.
And he said in evidence: “It was the first time I’d seen since my 18th and I hadn’t really spoken to him after that. Until then we were quite close friends.
“I heard him shouting things but I wasn’t sure whether it was to me but it became obvious it was when he came over to where I was sat down.
“I went to watch the England game with friends and Robert was shouting at me to come outside.
He shouted abuse at me, I felt threatened and he got more aggressive as the night went on.
“He wanted to go outside to fight, he could’ve spoken to me inside the pub.”
On being seen on his phone, Scholes added: “People do strange things when they are stressed. I think I was checking to see if I had any marks after a scuffle.”
Judge Goozee sentenced Arron Scholes to a 12-month community order, 80 hours of unpaid work and to pay costs of £775.
He said: “I did find you guilty of assault, but I do reiterate, I made very specific findings. I did not find this to be a protracted or sustained assault.
“There was one punch to Mr Kemper outside the pub, and there was one punch while he was on the pub table before you were pulled away by your friends.
“That was the end of the incident. You are a young man of good character. Alcohol clearly lessened your ability to control your emotions.”