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Golfer assaulted at Tenterden golf club in row over 'near miss'

A golfer has criticised an exclusive club after he was assaulted following a row which began at the 14th hole.

Victim Lee Heasman, 49, ended up on the ground as the argument escalated with another club member.

Mr Heasman claimed the incident started after a ball was struck that came too close to his party of players.

Lee Heasman was assaulted at Tenterden Golf Club
Lee Heasman was assaulted at Tenterden Golf Club

Words were exchanged between Mr Heasman and Adam Roffey, 31, on the manicured greens of Tenterden Golf Club over the "near miss".

The dispute ended in Roffey’s being found guilty earlier this month at Folkestone Magistrates’ of assault by beating.

Mr Heasman admits that he was sitting on the clubhouse wall taking photos of Roffey as he completed the 18th hole.

“I was trying to take a picture of him surreptitiously to identify him and report him,” he said.

Mr Heasman was then assaulted by Roffey and says he landed on the ground, falling over a golf trolley onto a concrete area and a small rockery, with the incident being captured on the club’s CCTV.

Tenterden Golf Club. Picture: Paul Amos
Tenterden Golf Club. Picture: Paul Amos

The accountancy consultant said he suffered chest pains and a worsening of the epilepsy he developed as a teenager, after the assault in October 2017.

He added the stress of waiting for the case to come to court led to him being hospitalised three times due to his epilepsy.

But he says he is not interested in compensation and if Roffey had simply apologised to him he would have let the incident go.

Mr Heasman, who lives in Benenden, had been upset since the first ugly encounter on the 14th green.

He said: “I didn’t play another ball that day and just followed my group until the game finished.”

Roffey has continued to play at the club, where annual memberships costs up to £1,025 and Mr Heasman said: “The way the club handled the situation was very poor.

Tenterden Golf Club. Picture: Paul Amos
Tenterden Golf Club. Picture: Paul Amos

“I feel it failed to carry out an impartial investigation.

“The club send emails about not parking in the wrong place but they wanted to sit on the fence about the assault until the police had decided.

“In effect I was thrown to the wolves by the club.”

The father-of-two said he felt compelled to leave after being a member for 20 years.

He said: “I was a member of a Saturday morning eight-o’clockers club and it was something I really enjoyed for the golf and social life. It was a way of losing the stresses of the week,” he said.

“The way the club handled the situation was very poor..." -Lee Heasman

The case was heard last week at Folkestone Magistrates’, when Roffey was found guilty of assault by beating for which he received a nine-month conditional discharge and had to pay £750 court costs.

Roffey told KentOnline he intends to appeal the decision but declined to comment further on the incident.

Tenterden Golf Club chairman Peter Smallridge said: “The management committee will consider what to do in the light of this information [the verdict].”

Mr Heasman said: “The club said they are happy to have me back but how can I go back to the place where I was assaulted?”

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