Footballer gets suspended sentence for attack on ref

Michael Martin Cruz represented the Cayman Islands during the CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers in 2019. Photo: Taneos Ramsay

Former Cayman Islands national football player Michael Martin Cruz has received a six-month suspended sentence for punching a football referee in January last year.

Martin Cruz, 23, who played for Bodden Town FC, was sentenced earlier this month after pleading guilty in June this year; he was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm after the match against Academy had been called off.

According to the police report, on 23 Jan. 2020, at about 10pm, officers responded to a call that football players were fighting at the Annex field in George Town.

Court documents say, upon arrival, police met with complainant Benjamin Whitty, who “had bruises on his left and right elbow as well as a bruise on his left knee”.

Whitty explained to the officers that he was attacked by a group of football players; however, he was unable to identify the accused because he was attacked from behind.

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In addition, Martin Cruz could face six months in prison should he be detained for any reason during his two-year probation. He will have to abide by a 7pm to 5am daily curfew and also must pay $1,098 to the victim within three months.

As a result of incident on the pitch, in March last year Cruz was banned for 10 years from all Cayman Islands Football Association activities.

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  1. It never ceases to amaze me how slow our justice system is . This was a simple case of assault.The offence was committed in January last year and it has taken 20 months for the offender to be sentenced?. This is definitely third world justice and light years away from our much toted “world class” performance in the public sector.