- Associated Press - Friday, February 12, 2016

GUILDFORD, England (AP) - Former English Premier League player Marcus Bent was handed a 12-month suspended jail sentence on Friday for confronting two police officers with a meat cleaver and a kitchen knife while under the influence of cocaine.

The 37-year-old Bent had pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and affray in previous hearings at Guildford Crown Court.

Prosecutor Lee Harris said Bent, who played for Everton, Ipswich and Charlton in England’s top league, was “wild with rage” as he confronted officers after calling police to report intruders in his flat. No intruders were discovered, but officers found a small amount of cocaine.

The incident occurred on Sept. 13 last year.

Judge Stephen Climie told Bent that he had lost his good character and his self-respect, but praised him for his work with a youth football team.

Andrew Henley, defending Bent, said that his client was no longer using cocaine and had self-medicated with the drug.

“When his professional career ended, he is left with no direction in his life, he is left with a vacuum and in that vacuum issues from his upbringing arise; powerful, psychological matters relating to his upbringing,” Henley said. “That is the issue he is trying to address and numb with the use of cocaine.”

Bent was also ordered to pay 2,000 pounds ($2,900) in compensation and court fees, and given 200 hours community service as well as a two-month night-time curfew.

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