Ex-taekwondo champ jailed for thug attack
A former taekwondo world champion has been jailed after he used his martial arts skills to seriously injure a man.
Black belt Kenny Nettleton kicked and punched his victim who lost teeth and suffered a broken leg during the "nasty and unprovoked" attack.
Nettleton (23) of Moore Road, Barwell, was sentenced to seven years and four months at Leicester Crown Court yesterday, after he was found guilty of grievous bodily harm last month.
The attack happened in Lismore Drive, Hinckley, on Saturday, October 22 last year, according to Leicestershire police.
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The 42-year-old victim was returning home with his wife after an evening out.
Detective Constable John Borlase, who investigated the incident, said: "Nettleton is a taekwondo champion and misused his skills to cause significant injuries to the victim.
"The victim was on his way home with his wife after enjoying an evening out when he was subjected to this nasty and unprovoked attack."
After the sentencing yesterday, police published photographs of the victim's injured left leg, which appears to show a scar and 19 stitches.
"The victim lost a number of teeth and suffered a broken leg during the incident," Det Con Borlase said.
"I hope the conviction and sentence passed will go some way in reassuring the victim and the wider community of how seriously we and the courts take incidents of this nature."
Nettleton was a member of Nuneaton Taekwondo Club, and travelled with the club to the World Championships in Telford in 2010.
Club instructor Nigel Banks confirmed Nettleton was part of a three-man squad from the club who won gold at the championships in the adult red belt division, beating the Polish team.
He said Nettleton had reached black belt level, but said he did not wish to comment further.
A spokesman for British Taekwondo, the national governing body for the Olympic sport of taekwondo, said Nettleton was not one of its members and that there were a number of world championships held by different organisations.
He said: "Our members and players learn self-defence, but the key is that it is self-defence with self-restraint.
"It is fair to say that most of the flashy moves you see in Jackie Chan movies really won't get you very far in a bar fight.
"For the most part, taekwondo involves restraint with minimal damage."