Former Premier League footballer Marcus Bent has escaped a jail term after admitting charges of cocaine possession and affray. The 37-year-old was sentenced to a total of 12 months in jail suspended for two years after admitting affray following an incident at his home in Esher, Surrey, haven previously pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine.
Bent, who played for more than 14 clubs during his career including Everton, Charlton Athletic and Blackburn Rovers, was Tasered by police officers responding to reports of a break in at his flat on 13 September 2015.
The striker was said to have charged at one officer with a knife and meat cleaver in hand, forcing another officer to discharge the Taser fearing he was going to "chop" his colleague.
At a previous hearing at Guildford Crown Court, prosecutor Darren Matravers said: "On September 13 of this year at around 9.30pm that night, the police received a 999 call from the defendant. He was reporting that intruders had broken into his flat and that he had locked himself in his bathroom, seeking protection.
"A few minutes later officers arrived at the address. They were buzzed-in by another resident. The defendant rushed out of the flat. He was holding a knife in one hand and a meat cleaver in the other hand. One of the officers describes the knife as a 15-inch chef's knife, in his right hand. He says he had a large meat cleaver in his left hand.
"He raised it towards another officer's head and neck area. He believed he was going to chop the other officer with the cleaver. The officer deployed his Taser and the defendant fell to the floor as a consequence."
Bent was sentenced to three months for cocaine possession and nine months for affray, suspended for two years. The court heard how the charges of possessing bladed articles would be left to lie on file.
Bent made a total of 574 games and scored 113 goal during his career, which also included stints at Crystal Palace, Birmingham City and Sheffield United.