Youth soccer coach handed criminal record for punching ref

A youth soccer coach now has a criminal record after he slugged a referee during a game at an east-end high school in 2014.

The incident happened during a tournament organized at the east-end Georges-Vanier high school in January 2014. Marvens Jean-Charles, 30, was apparently upset that some of his 16- and 17-year-old players had been ejected from a game.

The players had apparently been brawling toward the end of a close game, according to a decision written last month by judge Gilles R. Pelletier. At first, the referee handed out red cards, and then, as the situation escalated, he brought the game to an early end.

A few moments later, Jean-Charles, who was replacing his team's regular coach that day, punched the referee in the face after a heated verbal exchange.

The referee wasn't seriously hurt.

He received a $500 fine and a year's probation, and will now have to carry a criminal record. The Crown has asked for the fine and two year's probation; the defence wanted him to perform community service, so that he could avoid getting a criminal record.

His lawyer argued that sparing Jean-Charles of a criminal record would make his job prospects easier and make it easier for him to travel to the U.S., where he has family.