conor murphy

Conor Murphy, 29, has since been jailed after launching a 'disgusting' attack against a man who was not wearing a face covering in McDonald's during the Covid pandemic.
A Norwich City youth football coach who hit a man in the head with a metal pole for not wearing a Covid mask has been jailed.

Conor Murphy was queuing for food at a McDonald's in June 2021 when he became enraged by a group of four who weren't wearing face coverings.

After becoming increasingly irate, the 29-year-old went back to his car where he found the metal pole, before returning to attack one of the men.

He has now been jailed for two years and eight months over the 'disgusting' attack, having previously pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon. He has since left his coaching role with Norwich.

The fracas began when Murphy was waiting to order food at the fast food restaurant at Peterborough's Haddon Services off the A1.

He spotted a group of four people - including a 15-year-old boy - and questioned one of them about why his female friend wasn't wearing a mask.

However, she had had a heart bypass and was exempt from rules at the time which made face coverings indoors mandatory, a court heard.

The group got their food and went to sit down but on the way out, Murphy again asked why the woman wasn't wearing a mask.

An altercation then broke out between the man and Murphy, who pushed and shoved each other.

The football coach returned to his car and sat there for three minutes, before finding the pole behind his driver's seat and returning to confront the group.

He smacked the unmasked man on the right side of the head before he fell to the ground, suffering a bad cut that needed gluing.

The victim's partner intervened and Murphy hit her on the wrist too. Onlookers tried to restrain him, but he escaped and drove off.

He was arrested a few days later after handing himself in at Thorpe Wood Police Station.

In an impact statement, the male victim said: 'The upheaval caused by this incident will never go away.

'I have frequent nightmares that come in the form of flashbacks when I feel the blow and see the blood pouring into my hands.'

He also said he has suffered with migraines, headaches and ringing in his ears, which forced him to temporarily leave his job as a machinist.

On Wednesday March 8, at Peterborough Magistrates' Court sitting as a crown court, Murphy, of Warmington, Northants, was jailed.

DC Andrea Farnes, of Cambridgeshire Police, said: 'This was a disgusting and pointless assault on someone who was just going about their daily business.

'Murphy knew what he was doing was incredibly dangerous and he can now reflect on his stupid actions in prison.'

Murphy was ordered to pay compensation of £2,000 to the male victim and £1,000 to the female as well as a victim surcharge of £156.

He left his job as Championship side the Canaries' regional development programme after the incident on June 29, 2021.