A semi-professional footballer who signed for a new club on New Year’s Eve was arrested shortly after his first match a week later.
Former soldier Lee Thomas Healey was jailed for 12 weeks yesterday, after admitting breaching a restraining order by sending threatening text messages to his ex-partner.
The 30-year-old signed for Welsh Premier League side Aberystwyth Town, from Holywell Town, on December 31.
Healey made an appearance from the bench for Aberystwyth during their 1-0 defeat to Cefn Druids AFC on Saturday, but was placed under arrest by police after the game.
Andrew Page, prosecuting, told the court Healey had texted his former partner on January 2 to say “I will f*** your life up, I don’t give a f***, I will go to jail for you.”
Healey, of The Spinney in Stockbridge Village, Merseyside, had been banned from speaking to Ms Charlotte Allen by a restraining order, imposed after he breached a non-molestation order issued by the Family Courts.
Liverpool magistrates’ court heard Healey was also subject to two suspended sentence orders, one for an unrelated driving offence and the other for breaching the non-molestation order.
Toni Moran, defending, told the court her client had been involved in a row with his ex over child-care, which turned nasty.
She said: “He is a semi-professional footballer and he signed a new contract with Aberystwyth football club on the 31st. Police arrested him at the club during the course of his first match.
“He’s heartily sorry, and is now going to lose his employment and he is going to lose contact with his child.”
The court heard Healey had been experiencing issues relating to post-traumatic stress disorder, stemming from his experiences serving in Iraq.
Ms Moran said the restraining order initially allowed contact to arrange child care via Healey’s brother, however this stopped when his brother changed his mind.
She said Ms Allen had also been in regular contact with Healey.
Healey made headlines in 2015 after taking an Audi A3 car belonging to the wife of Newtown FC footballer Neil Mitchell, Sarah Mitchell-Hughes, without her permission.
He had been staying at the couple’s house and was over the drink-drive limit when he crashed the Audi into a telephone kiosk causing £16,000 worth of damage.
Healey was found to have 47 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, while the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.
The striker was later convicted of taking a vehicle without consent, drink-driving, driving without insurance and without a licence.
During his sentencing hearing at Welshpool Magistrates’ Court, his solicitor Michael Davies said: “I am sure Mr Healey appreciates he is drinking in the last chance saloon and that his footballing career is very much in jeopardy.”
He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and banned from the roads for 12 months at Welshpool Magistrates’ Court.
Announcing Healey’s signature on January 5, Aberystwyth stated on their official website: “Lee is known for his no nonsense style of play and he has impressed against Aber on a number of previous occasions, most recently for the Wellmen in the Welsh Cup tie in December.”
Healey previously played for Welsh Premier League sides Gap Connah’s Quay, Bangor City and Cefn Druids, scoring six goals in 35 appearances and winning the WPL Player of the Month Award for October 2014.
He has also played for Ashville, Congleton Town and Droylsden in the English system.