Footballer escapes prison – thanks to video! — (Hucknall Dispatch)

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Hucknall Dispatch

The 39-year-old, who has interests in a restaurant and two pubs, had been sentenced to three months in jail for assaulting his girlfriend, Eileen Rhodehouse.

But a security video camera outside his home in Papplewick Lane, Hucknall, showed Miss Rhodehouse pursuing Mr Johnson to his Mitsubishi Shogun car, then chasing him in the garden and along the drive.

She claimed he grabbed her left ear, ripping it and causing a cut that needed pinning and gluing at hospital.

But Mr Johnson claimed she tried to bite his neck as he sat in his vehicle, then injured her ear on the car door pillar.

A judge and two justices quashed his conviction at Nottingham Crown Court.

After the hearing, Mr Johnson, now of White Lion Yard, Mansfield, told the Dispatch: I have been the victim of domestic violence for three years.

I am happy that justice has been seen to be done and that she has been proven to be the aggressor.

Mr Johnson, an ex-Hucknall Town and Rolls-Royce Celtic striker, is a former partner in a security equipment business.

He now has interests in Aficionado s restaurant in Mansfield, a pub near Skegness and Bar Republique, a pub due to open soon at Newark Castle Station. He has two children by Miss Rhodehouse.

Nottingham Magistrates Court convicted him of two offences of assault causing her actual bodily harm on July 11 and 12 last year.

On July 25 this year, the magistrates sentenced him to three months imprisonment for the offences. But he remained at liberty pending his appeal to the Crown Court.

The alleged assaults took place at the house in Papplewick Lane but the security video was not available to the magistrates when they convicted him.

The original hearing was told that Miss Rhodehouse had a drinking problem, had seen a psychiatrist and took Prozac.

But in evidence to the Crown Court appeal, she denied drinking to excess and said she had taken Prozac for only three days.

She agreed she had beaten Mr Johnson in the past in retaliation, following rows.

She also agreed that, although separated from him at the time, she had slept with him the night after the first alleged assault.

Judge Michael Stokes and the two justices allowed the appeal halfway through the hearing before Mr Johnson even gave evidence.

We could not be sure he deliberately assaulted her, said the judge.