Thug knocked out Leeds United legend Gary McAllister's teeth in random city centre attack outside Corn Exchange

Leeds United hero Gary McAllister had his teeth knocked out in a random attack by a drunk thug as he made his way home from a night out with his wife and friends.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 2:24 pm
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 3:06 pm

A court heard the former Whites player and manager needed hospital treatment after being punched repeatedly in the face by Damien Swan during the attack outside the Corn Exchange.

Leeds Crown Court heard Mr McAllister, 56, was dazed and had two teeth knocked out during the incident in the early hours of March 23, 2019.

Swan was arrested four days after the assault and told police: "I didn't even know who he was."

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former Leeds United star Gary McAllister lost teeth in city centre attack by Damien Swan

The 34-year-old was released on bail and went on to attack builders at a Sikh temple in Leeds, setting his pet bulldogs on them during the violence.

Swan was jailed for 27 months after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, unlawful wounding and two counts of being in charge of a dangerously out of control dog.

Graham O'Sullivan, prosecuting, said Mr McAllister was attacked after enjoying an evening out with his wife and two friends in the city.

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Gary McAllister

The group left Backroom bar around 4.20am and went to look for a taxi outside the Corn Exchange.

The prosecutor said Mr McAllister's wife Hayley and her friend spoke to two men as they waited.

Mr McAllister was not involved in the conversation as he was trying to flag down a cab.

During the conversation one of the men said he was from Bermuda and asked the women who they were with.

Damien Swan was jailed for 27 months.

Mrs McAllister pointed over to her husband.

As Mr McAllister was about to get into a taxi, Swan round around the vehicle and punched him forcefully in the face, causing him to fall to the floor.

The court heard Mr McAllister was dazed and felt pain to his mouth.

Swan and the other man then ran off.

Mr McAllister went Leeds General infirmary for treatment.

He had a large cut to his lip after two teeth were forced through the skin.

Mr McAllister required stitches to the injury and lost teeth in the attack.

The prosecutor said McAllister did not wish to provide a victim impact statement to the court.

Swan denied knowing who Mr Allister was at the time of the attack when he was arrested and interviewed over the incident.

He was bailed and went on to commit further offences on March 30, 2019, at the Gurdwara Guru Nanak, on Lady Pit Lane, Beeston.

Swan approached builders carrying out reconstruction workers and accused them of taking pictures of him.

He had two dogs with him at the time who were aggressive and tried to bite the men.

The men described how the defendant appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

The prosecutor said: "The defendant said he was a celebrity and asked if they knew who he was."

The men tried to fend the dogs off using brooms but the construction manager fell to the floor and was savaged by one of the animals.

He suffered "horrendous" injuries after the dog locked its jaws onto his arm.

He required a skin graft after the incident and still suffers from his injuries.

Another worker suffered puncture wounds after also being bitten.

Swan picked up a metal concrete scraper at the scene and struck another worker over the head with it, causing a wound.

Robin Freize, mitigating, said Swan, of Greenmount Terrace, Beeston pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage.

Mr Freize said Swan had been diagnosed with a mental health disorder which was made worse by his use of cannabis and alcohol.

Sentencing, Judge Tom Bayliss QC said: "Gary McAllister is well known in Leeds. He is a former footballer of some renown.

"He has played for Leeds United and he has played for Scotland.

"But I am prepared to accept that you did not know him."

Swan was also banned from keeping dogs for life.

After the hearing, Detective Inspector James Entwistle, of Leeds District CID, said: “Both these incidents show Swan to be someone prepared to use unprovoked violence against wholly innocent victims who had the misfortune to encounter him.

“He was brought to justice as a result of detailed and comprehensive investigations by detectives, and we hope it will provide some reassurance to the victims to know that he has now had to answer for his actions.”