Friend of James Maddison punched man he thought wasn’t showing midfielder respect, court hears

Former Norwich City midfielder James Maddison. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Former Norwich City midfielder James Maddison. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

A man suffered a fractured cheekbone after being punched by a friend of former Norwich City player James Maddison, who thought he wasn't showing the footballer enough respect, a court has heard.

Nathan Cadby went up to James Brown, who was waiting for a taxi in Tombland in Norwich, after a night out with friends in 2016, and allegedly told him he should know who Mr Maddison was and should 'show him more respect', Ipswich Crown Court was told on Monday.

Cadby, of Turner Road in Coventry, had slapped Mr Brown and, when Mr Brown asked why, Cadby, 21, had 'gratuitously' punched him once in the face, said John Morgans, prosecuting.

Mr Brown fell to the ground and blacked out for a short time. He was later found to have suffered a broken cheekbone and underwent surgery.

Cadby has denied inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Brown on October 9, 2016.

Mr Morgans told the court that Mr Maddison had been out in Norwich on the night in question with a group of friends, including Cadby, and had got into 'a bit of banter' with Mr Brown's group.

Mr Maddison allegedly told the group they should know who he was and they got the impression he was 'a little put out' they didn't know who he was, said Mr Morgans.

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Mr Maddison bragged that he earned £7,000 a week and was paid more in a month than they earned in a year, said Mr Morgans.

The court heard the former player pointed out his expensive trainers and 'seemed upset' when one of Mr Brown's friends said they didn't like his shoes, said Mr Morgans.

Mr Morgans told the court that at the time of the incident Mr Maddison, who is expected to be a witness in the case, was with Norwich City but was on loan to Aberdeen. He now plays for Leicester City.

The court heard that Cadby told police Mr Brown's group had been giving Mr Maddison 'some stick' and told him: 'You're s***'.

He claimed he thought Mr Brown was going to attack him and that he had hit him in self-defence.

He denied saying Mr Brown's group should have known who Mr Maddison was and should show him more respect.

Mr Maddison had also asked the group if he could do anything to help.

He said that Cadby had then come over and asked if there was a problem and words had been exchanged between Cadby and Mr Brown.

Mr Maddison told police that Cadby had then 'suddenly' punched Mr Brown in the face.

Giving evidence for the prosecution via a video link Mr Maddison said he was 'six or seven out of ten drunk' on the night in question but knew what he was doing.

He said Mr Brown's group had been aware who he was and had been 'taking the Mickey' out of him.

He described the interaction between him and Mr Brown's group as 'banter' but said he had got the feeling they were being 'a bit personal'.

Mr Maddison told the court that he and Cadby had been friends when he played for Coventry and Cadby had been out with him in the past when he had got 'stick' from fans who recognised him.

He said on the night of the alleged attack on Mr Brown Cadby had come over to make sure he was alright.

'We've been in that situation before,' said Mr Maddison.

He said there had been an exchange of words between Mr Brown and Cadby before Cadby had punched him.

'I had started the initial conversation but I didn't want it to get like that,' said Mr Maddison.

He said that when he met up with Cadby later they had both been in 'a bit of shock' about what had happened.

'We never expected that to happen,' he said.

He said Cadby had told him that Mr Brown had been getting aggressive and he had been defending himself.

Asked by defence counsel Jonathan Goodman if he had told Mr Brown's group that his shoes had cost £850, Mr Maddison said he may have said that in response to the men taking the mickey out of him.

He said he couldn't remember saying anything about his earnings but he may have done if he was trying to be cheeky to the group in response to them being cheeky to him.

He said that on the weekend in question there had been an international football break and he and some friends had been staying in his apartment in Norwich.

He said that during the evening they'd been drinking in the VIP area at the Mantra nightclub in Norwich and were returning to his apartment when the alleged attack on Mr Brown took place.

The trial continues.