Ex-Latics ace Bent facing jail

Marcus Bent in his Latics days
Marcus Bent in his Latics days
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FORMER Latics striker Marcus Bent has been warned he faces a prison sentence after he admitted affray.

The 37-year-old pleaded guilty at Guildford Crown Court, sitting at Guildford Magistrates’ Court, to the charge which stemmed from an incident at his Surrey home on September 13.

The striker, who made 31 appearance for Latics, scoring seven goals during the 2007-08 season, had previously entered a guilty plea to one count of possessing a class A drug - cocaine.

Bent, dressed in a navy suit and white shirt, spoke only to confirm his name and enter his plea of guilty to affray.

He was charged after an incident in which he was reportedly Tasered by police responding to reports of a break-in at his home in Claremont Lane in Esher, Surrey, on September 13.

The court heard that two charges of possessing bladed articles, namely a meat cleaver and a kitchen knife, would be left to lie on file.

Lee Harris, prosecuting, said: “The Crown take the view that his intention and what was in his mind at the time is not a matter of law.”

Judge Stephen Climie adjourned the case until next month, pending a probation report, but warned the former striker he is at risk of being jailed.

The judge said: “I adjourn your case for sentence on February 12. Between now and then, I expect the Probation Service to prepare a report on you which you are required to attend for interview to discuss in greater detail the background to what on paper is a disturbing set of events, which I’m sure you appreciate.

“On the face of it a custodial sentence is justified. Whether that is the right sentence in the context of this case is not a matter I will prejudge.”

Bent, from Esher, Surrey, was released on unconditional bail.

The ex-England Under 21 international played 574 games and scored 113 goals during his professional career at 14 different clubs including Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers.

Bent, who also played for Everton, Ipswich and Charlton, is the second ex-Latics ace in recent times to suffer a spectacular fall from grace.

Marlon King was infamously “absolutely sacked” by then-Latics chairman Dave Whelan after he was convicted on an assult charge.