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October 31, 2009

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King sentenced to 18 months in prison

WIGAN Athletic striker Marlon King was jailed for 18 months on Thursday after the Premier League player was convicted of groping a woman and breaking her nose after she rejected his advances in a nightclub.

King, 29, was unanimously convicted of sexual assault and causing actual bodily harm by a jury at London's Southwark Crown Court. Wigan said his contract would be terminated.

The court heard how King, who was celebrating his wife's pregnancy and scoring a winning goal only hours earlier, was repeatedly cold-shouldered by women revellers in London's packed Soho Revue Bar last December. The court was told that when the slightly-built university student rejected his advances, King, a father-of-three, replied "I'm just out of your league. I'm a millionaire".

She replied: "I don't care who you are, take your multi-millions and get away from our table".

Prosecutors said he then lost his temper and in an outburst of "completely gratuitous violence" lashed out, "smashing" her to the floor.

His single clenched fist blow was so powerful that two other revellers - one of them holding on to his arm - were also sent flying.

As friends helped the 20-year-old to her feet, blood poured from her shattered nose, the court heard.

King claimed he was a victim of mistaken identity. But after hearing evidence from witnesses, including a football coach, the jury decided he was lying. The court later heard that King had been in the dock seven times since the age of 17, accused of motoring offences and violence against women.

Several of King's supporters stormed from court swearing at the judge.

One, pointing at the judge, screamed: "This is a clear case of institutional racism. You should not be up there... Up the National Front. Heil Hitler."

Another, referring to footballer Steven Gerrard's acquittal for affray, shouted: "Look at you. You are all white. Steven Gerrard is still walking the streets."


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