A footballer who was jailed for brutally beating up his girlfriend has been signed to a new club after being released from jail.
Reece Thompson, 25, was jailed for 40 months and received a 10-year restraining order for subjecting his partner to a three-day ordeal in which he hit her with an iron bar and forced her to eat paint.
The lady identified as Danielle Thomas was left with horrific bruises on her body during the attack in 2019.
Speaking about the incident, Danielle told Lincolnshire Live: “Reece repeatedly hit me. He hit me with an iron bar, broke my jaw and smashed a mirror over my head.
“I was made to lick paint up off the floor and then he smashed another mirror over my head.
“It was when he picked up the second mirror that I thought I was going to die, I screamed for him to stop or he would kill me.
“He told me to get my arms down and take the beating like a real person.”
Thompson, who played for York City, Boston United, and Guiseley AFC, was released just nine months into his 40-month sentence earlier this year.
The English striker has now been given a “second chance” by Selby Town FC, who came under fire from fans last month for allowing Thompson to play in a pre-season friendly.
The Northern Counties East League Division One club apologised afterward for featuring him in the pre-season friendly, but will not allow him to continue playing for the team.
A Selby Town spokesperson said: “During pre-season, we trialled a player by the name of Reece Thompson. At the time many supporters and non-supporters expressed their opinion on the trial due to the events and court proceedings in Reece’s past.
“Following this trial we released a statement stating that Reece would not be joining our team on an ongoing basis.
“Since then a great deal of discussion has taken place within the club, and with Reece himself as to his actions, his sentence, and what comes next for him.
“As made clear in our original statement, the club does not condone Reece’s actions and we can only imagine the impact upon those involved. For what he has done, Reece has rightly been judged in a court of law and served his sentence.
“With that sentence now served and with the ongoing work Reece carries out to understand and learn from his behaviour, we have come to the conclusion that it is not our place to continue to further punish Reece for his actions, he has received his punishment and carried out his sentence, and with that in mind, we believe that a second chance could and should be provided both in employment and in recreation.
“Further to this, we believe that being part of our club and being surrounded by the strong management team we have in place can further help Reece to overcome his past and to ensure that he learns from his actions and is able to fulfil a role within society.
“We understand there will be many that disagree with our stance, likewise there will be those who believe he has served his sentence and should be allowed to now carry on with life.
“We hope going forward Reece will be judged on his actions from this point with his knowledge that the expectations and standard of behaviour expected of him are high.”
The club decision sparked outrage on Twitter.
One person wrote: “Reece Thompson beat his girlfriend and forced her to eat paint. @SelbyTown_FC just signed him upon his early release from jail. “Disgusting club.”
Another said: “April 2019 – Reece Thompson gets put behind bars after he beat his girlfriend with an iron bar and forced her to lick up paint off the floor.
“What a horrible decision from Selby Town. Truly disgusting.”
While one said: “Best thing to do – no one go to Selby’s games, don’t give them any of your money. Reece Thompson doesn’t deserve another football club and Selby don’t deserve anything good for allowing this to happen. “F**k them.”