A professional footballer from Milton Keynes has been given a suspended prison sentence – for stealing a mobile phone.
The career of talented centre back Luke Pennell may now be nipped in the bud as his team bosses discuss whether he should be sacked.
The 20-year-old former Lord Grey schoolboy plays for Conference Premier side Dagenham & Redbridge, known as the Daggers.
He made his professional debut with them in March – 10 months AFTER he committed the offence of theft.
Aylesbury Crown Court heard last week how Pennell, who lives on Emerson Valley, left Casino MK with the victim and another man at 3am.
They drove the victim to Crownhill, where they met Pennell’s accomplice, Tobi Shoyoye.
Shoyoye, who is 19, produced a knife and the victim ran away, dropping his mobile phone in the process.
Pennell and Shoyoye stole the phone and £200 cash, the court heard.
Pennell pleaded guilty to theft and was given a nine month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
A former MK Dons youth player, at the time of the offence he was playing for Dunstable Town, whose chairman, John McLoughlin, said he was shocked to hear the news.
“I had no idea about this offence. If I did, I would never have let him continue playing with us,” he told the Citizen.
“We always thought he was a nice lad. We spotted his potential when he was playing for the Dons and we nurtured his talent.
“He’s been very silly. He was a real star on the football field and had a very bright future ahead of him.”