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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July, 2005, 20:24 GMT 21:24 UK
Reds fan 'hit barman with brick'
Michael Shields
Michael Shields is accused of attempted murder
A barman suffered possible brain damage after he was hit on the head with a brick thrown by a Liverpool fan, a Bulgarian court has been told.

Michael Shields, 18, from Wavertree, Liverpool, denies a charge of attempted murder after the alleged incident in Varna in May.

Another fan Anthony Wilson, 19, from Liverpool, denies charges of hooliganism and possessing drugs.

The men were in Bulgaria after watching their team's Champions League victory.

The two are accused of attacking barman Martin Georgiev, 25, during a fracas at a fast food shop.

Martin Georgiev
Martin Georgiev suffered a fractured skull

Mr Shields could be jailed for 20 years if found guilty of premeditated attempted murder and aggravated hooliganism.

Mr Wilson is alleged to have hit and kicked the man as he lay on the ground and could be jailed for 15 years.

Members of Michael Shields' family insist he was asleep in his hotel room when the incident took place, in the early hours of 30 May.

In Liverpool, there has been a campaign for Mr Shield's freedom with banners on the street where he lives proclaiming his innocence.

The trial, in the Black Sea resort of Varna, is expected to last two to three days.

Country profile: Bulgaria
11 May 05 |  Country profiles
Fans in Bulgaria jail not charged
28 Jun 05 |  Merseyside
Football fans charged in Bulgaria
27 Jun 05 |  Merseyside
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07 Jun 05 |  Merseyside

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