A PROFESSIONAL footballer spat in his girlfriend’s face and pulled a clump of her hair out during an argument in a nightclub.

In a statement to police Ellysha Stephens said Jamie Guy, a striker for Colchester United, “played on his minor celebrity status” and could be “arrogant and obnoxious”.

District Judge David Cooper, sitting at Colchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday, heard the couple, who have since split up, had gone out separately on August 25, but bumped into one another in Liquid nightclub, in the High Street.

The judge said Miss Stephens was unhappy Guy, of Mill Street, Colchester, had gone out with his friend and an argument broke out shortly after midnight.

He said: “She said he spat in her face and pulled her round by her hair, causing a clump of her hair to fall out,” he said.

The court heard the couple had been together for three years and have a baby son.

Robert Newbould, mitigating, said since the incident, the couple had been separated and Guy, 22, had not seen his son.

He admitted a charge of using threatening and abusive behaviour.

The judge fined him £350 and ordered him to pay £100 costs and £100 compensation to his former girlfriend.

Guy had already been convicted of threatening behaviour following an incident in a Colchester kebab shop in 2007.

While on loan to Oxford United last year, a charge of criminal damage was formally withdrawn.

He fell out of favour at Colchester under former boss Paul Lambert, but the new manager brought him back against Swindon last weekend, and pledged his support to the player.

After the case, Mr Boothroyd said he was only looking at incidents since he took over.

He added: “Everyone has a clean slate with me. I think in this day and age, professional footballers do get quite a lot of bad press and all young people step out of line sometimes. What I won’t be doing is hitting Jamie with a big stick.”