Disgraced footballer jailed for assaulting ex-girlfriend

North Wales Police

A disgraced footballer who attacked his ex-girlfriend while driving dangerously through Anglesey and Gwynedd has been jailed for ten months.

Vincent Burke, a former Manchester City hopeful, admitted assaulting Emily Clarke, knocking her unconscious as they drove home from Llangefni last September.

A judge at Caernarfon Crown Court rejected a defence plea for a suspended sentence.

The court heard Burke (25), from Liverpool, had broken up with Ms Clarke after a four-year relationship last July. But two months later, she contacted him for advice after being attacked by another woman from the city.

Prosecutors said the pair drove with her young baby daughter from Liverpool to Llangefni – but when Ms Clarke told him she wanted to go home, Burke lost his temper in public and walked away.

He shouted and screamed at her as they returned to the car and started driving fast and erratically.

Burke punched Ms Clarke twice in the face while on the phone to his mother, knocking her out cold. She came round after he splashed water in her face.

But when they reached Bangor and Bethesda, he was spotted assaulting Ms Clarke again by witnesses, causing a black eye and bruising. Burke was finally arrested at Llanddulas.

The defence argued Burke’s career as a footballer had forced his education to take a backward step.

He played for Liverpool Schoolboys before joining Manchester City at the age of 16, but left after a year and moved onto Blackburn Rovers and Oldham Athletic.

Burke’s lawyer said as a man of ‘previous good character’, he was remorseful for what happened – but argued custody could be suspended on condition.

But sentencing Burke, Judge Rhys Rowlands said the offences were ”far too serious” for anything other an immediate prison term.

He said Ms Clarke was in ”no position to defend herself” from a sustained assault involving heavy blows and ”violent, controlling behaviour” from Burke, who posed real risks from his driving.

Burke was banned from driving for seventeen months and must undergo an extended test. He was also banned from approaching Ms Clarke for three years under a restraining order.

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