Published: 09:35, 05 June 2018
| Updated: 10:39, 05 June 2018
A footballer has been convicted of contempt of court after snapping his premier league star pal as he stood in the dock.
Ben Chorley, of Dartford, attended Staines Magistrates' Court this week to lend emotional support to Crystal Palace ace Jason Puncheon as he was sentenced for attacking a bouncer.
But the 35-year-old Bromley FC defender found himself in hot water after taking the picture and making an audio recording as District Judge Michael Snow sentenced Puncheon to 210 hours community service.
Puncheon, a 31-year-old Premier League midfielder, admitted whipping defenceless Paul Mendy as he tried to break up a fight outside Mishiko nightclub in Reigate, Surrey, last December.
He then told the bouncer to "buy a house with it" as he attempted to hand the belt back.
In the melee leading up to the attack Chorley, who was with Puncheon and his wife, was punched and attended court as a potential witness.
But following the misdemeanour the former Arsenal and Gillingham player, of Oakfield Lane, spent a brief period in custody before returning to the court room where he was lambasted by DJ Snow and fined £1,000.
He said: "I have never been in court before and I can only apologise profusely from the bottom of my heart."
Passing sentence, the judge told a visibly shaken Chorley: "This is such an attack on the administration of justice there are plenty of signs around the court indicating the prohibition of phones.
"I accept with some surprise that you were not aware of the prohibition."
The court had earlier heard Puncheon took off the red leather belt and twice lashed out at a group involved in the scuffle.
It came after one reveller put his arm round him as he danced with his wife, before telling him: "You are f****** s***, that is why Roy [Hodgson, Crystal Palace manager] does not play you."
The same man and a woman he was with then clashed with Puncheon's group as they left the venue.
After changing his plea on the first day of the trial Puncheon, who has previous for attacking a police officer and a motoring offence, was ordered to pay almost £1,300 in fines and prosecution costs.