London - Crystal Palace midfielder Jason Puncheon is to stand trial in June on assault charges following his arrest outside a nightclub in December, a magistrate decided on Friday.
CCTV images presented in court appeared to show Puncheon take off a belt and swing it at a group of revellers in a menacing way.
The 31-year-old had been partying with friends on the night of the December 17 and, his lawyer claims, the images were a snapshot of a much larger picture in which his client was the victim.
Puncheon arrived at court walking with the aid of crutches, having been injured in a match against Manchester City on Sunday.
He entered not guilty pleas to a section four public order offence (causing fear or provocation of violence) and a second charge of common assault.
A third charge of possession of an offensive weapon was withdrawn by the prosecution.
"The defendant is caught on CCTV removing the belt from his trousers then approaching a group of people and swinging that belt," Darren Matravers, prosecuting, told the court.
"At that stage it doesn't appear the belt connects with anybody.
"He walks away, then returns to the group still with the belt in his hand and again he swings the belt and the second time the belt buckle is at the free end and that connects with the back of the victim's head," he insisted.
Puncheon denies the assault or using behaviour likely to cause fear of violence.
Chairwoman of the magistrates Ann Terry sent the case for trial to be heard at Staines Magistrates' Court on June 4 and released him on bail with the conditions not to contact Mr Mendy or enter the nightclub.