Jon Flanagan was sentenced today, following the late-December guilty plea of assaulting his girlfriend. He received a 12-month community order with 15 rehabilitation activity days. Additionally, Flanagan must serve 40 hours of community service and pay a bafflingly small £170 in total fees.
“You are a relatively young man with no previous convictions and it is therefore sad that you have come before the court today due to your behaviour,” Judge Lloyd said in her sentencing of Flanagan.
“This is an unpleasant episode...as we have discussed at the previous hearing this was not just a single act in that few minutes it was a matter of this lady going to the floor twice and you used your foot on her on one occasion.
“I find this was a category two offence, this lady does have injuries but of course she did not attribute those injuries to you.
“You claim to have no memory of this incident which does suggest you were very drunk indeed.
“The report indicates you recognise the need for self management whether you have been drinking or not.”
First-time offense or not, the sentence is a slap on the wrist. And so far Liverpool Football Club have shown no desire to cut ties with the player. From both a club and legal perspective, it is a wholly dissatisfying conclusion to an ugly episode.
Regardless, hopefully Flanagan can get the help he needs in his court-mandated rehabilitation. At bare minimum he clearly has some latent violent tendencies, and when paired with misogyny, this can be a deadly combination. Though this sentencing, on its surface, would not seem to be enough to require anyone to take the necessary close reexamination of their actions and beliefs to bring any real change to fruition.