A non-league footballer is facing the sack and a huge ban from the sport after a sickening punch that left an opponent with a fractured jaw.
Birtley midfielder Mark Brereton threw an outrageous punch at Heaton Stannington's Paul Blakely during a Northern League match last week, a blow which landed with a sickening crunch and horrified players and spectators alike.
Brereton's assault took place when the match officials' backs were turned - but local TV news cameras happened to be at the semi-professional match (which was won 3-0 by Heaton) and caught the incident.
Amazingly, Birtley quickly subbed Brereton off, perhaps hoping that the incident would go unnoticed - but the footage of the 18-year-old's vicious blow spread quickly across the internet.
Brereton is lucky he will face no legal action as a result of the incident: Blakely, who was rushed to hospital after the match, decided not to make an official complaint and police will not pursue the prosecution without his backing.
While he has seemingly escaped legal trouble Brereton was suspended immediately and will be sacked by Birtley Town following an inquiry, according to the Northern Echo - while a Northumberland FA investigation is expected to result in a ban that could last years.
"We'll wait and see what the County say, but I'm pretty sure that if he's found guilty, they'll impose a long ban. Hopefully that'll be years, not months," Mike Amos, the chairman of the Northern League, told Sky Tyne & Wear.
"Brereton is extremely lucky. If he'd been charged and found guilty, one assumes he'd have had a nasty shock," he added.
"I'm surprised that police have decided not to press charges of their own - perhaps that's the way the law works."
Early Doors shares that concern - it's hard to stomach the idea that someone could get away with an act of such sickening violence targeting a player who was looking away at the time. As Heaton's assistant manager said, "It was the coward's way to do it... you could hear the crack from the side of the pitch."
Brereton himself has yet to break his silence about the incident, but a relative told Sky: "He's gutted about what happened and he has apologised to the other lad. It's over now and he wants that to be the end of it."