Gareth Senior, pictured outside Leeds Magistrates’ Court was convicted of assault causing harm after he headbutted former former England defender Tony Dorigo in a shopping centre
Gareth Senior, 48, could be heard shouting ‘I knew you were after her’ before launching the attack during a confrontation in a department store.
The IT manager started an 18-month relationship with Claire Joss in April 2016 after meeting her at work.
But the relationship deteriorated after Senior introduced her to former Leeds and England player Mr Dorigo, 52, at a music festival in Manchester.
They broke up shortly before Christmas last year and Senior became suspicious that she had been seeing the former Leeds United left-back after friends had told him.
Senior reacted violently after he spotted Ms Joss along with Mr Dorigo in the Victoria Gate store in Leeds, West Yorkshire, two months after their own relationship had ended.
Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard Senior shoved Mr Dorigo into a ‘towel display’ at The White Company before headbutting him in the face on February 6.
Senior, who is currently based at Quarry House in Leeds which is home to an NHS HQ, admitted pushing Mr Dorigo when he gave evidence but denied the headbutt.
He had offered to plead guilty to a lesser charge of common assault at earlier hearing but it was rejected by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Former England defender Tony Dorigo, right, pictured outside Leeds Magistrates’ Court with his partner Claire Joss, left, said he was looking at some towels in a shop when he heard shouting from behind. He told the court he was shoved from behind and then Senior headbutted him in the face – narrowly avoiding having his nose broken
Ms Joss, left, said she was returning an item to the till when she heard shouting. She told the court: ‘Garth was shouting over the top of me. Words to the effect of he was going to kill Tony’
Senior was ordered to pay Mr Dorigo, pictured, £100 compensation. He was also ordered to pay a £500 fine and a further £300 in costs following his conviction
Senior now faces losing his job after being convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Leeds Magistrates’ on Tuesday.
Former Leeds star Mr Dorigo described how his attacker could have broken his nose if he had not managed to back away as he was headbutted.
Giving evidence, Mr Dorigo confirmed that he had met Senior on two occasions before the attack.
He said he had met him for the first time at the music event in Manchester and had seen him on a second occasion during a dinner he was giving a speech at the Queens Hotel.
Describing the assault, Mr Dorigo said: ‘I was looking at the towels at the back of the shop. The next thing I heard some shouting from behind.
‘I didn’t realise what was going on and I felt an excessive shove from behind.’
Mr Dorigo described how he fell forward about four or five feet after being shoved in the back by Senior. He described how Senior then headbutted him to the face.
The court heard that Senior, pictured, could possibly lose his job with the NHS as a result of his conviction
He added: ‘He was swearing and saying all sorts of things at this stage. I didn’t really catch it all.
‘He just headbutted me. I didn’t really know what was going on and at that point it was all a bit of a shock.
‘He caught me on my nose and top of the lip. I thought there was a bit of blood inside my lip.
‘I managed to move back or else my nose would have been broken.’
Mr Dorigo said his eyes began to water after the impact and he suffered soreness for a few days afterwards.
Ms Joss told the court she was returning an item at the till when she heard shouting.
She said: ‘Garth was shouting over the top of me. Words to the effect of he was going to kill Tony.
‘Something along the lines of “I knew you were after her”.’
Ms Joss described how she stood between Mr Dorigo and her former partner in a bid to break up the violence.
She admitted that she ‘clouted’ Senior twice as he stood at the top of the stairs after the attack.
She said her former partner continued to shout threats outside the shop.
Ms Joss and Mr Dorigo pictured, began their relationship after being introduced by Senior at a music festival in Manchester
Tony Dorigo, pictured playing for Chelsea, made 171 appearances for Leeds United between 1991 and 1997 and was nominated the team’s player of the season in 1992 when they last won the league
‘We were stood outside of the main door. At that point he said it wasn’t over and he was going to break his legs,’ added Ms Joss.
‘He was clearly angry and saying other things. I got the attention of the security guards.’
Deputy District Judge Paul Currer said: ‘I am very sorry to see a man of your previous good character and good standing coming before the court in circumstances such as this.
‘This represents something of a personal crisis that you went through in the last couple of years.’
Senior, of Churwell, was fined £500 and ordered to pay £100 compensation to Mr Dorigo, plus £300 court costs.
Australian-born Mr Dorigo played made 171 appearances for Leeds United between 1991 and 1997.
He was voted Fans’ Player of the Year in their First Division title-winning season in 1992.
Mr Dorigo was capped for England 15 times and also played for Aston Villa, Chelsea, Torino, Derby County and Stoke City.
He watched from the bench as England were knocked out during the Italia ’90 semi-final shootout loss to West Germany in Turin.
As well as Leeds United, Dorigo, pictured here with David Beckham, played for Aston Villa, Chelsea, Derby County and Stoke City