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The BBC's Jon Sopel
"The stain remains on his reputation"
 real 28k

Geoffrey Boycott
"I'm not embarrassed or ashamed"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 3 May, 2000, 12:14 GMT 13:14 UK
Boycott appeal thrown out

Geoffrey Boycott maintains he is innocent
Former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott has lost his appeal against a French court conviction for assaulting his former girlfriend Margaret Moore.

The 59-year-old Yorkshireman had been fined 5,000 and given a three-month suspended sentence two years ago, for the attack in a Riviera hotel in 1996.

I never hit her. I will say that to the day I die.

Geoffrey Boycott
A French court was told Ms Moore had been punched 20 times in the face and body during a row between the couple in Antibes.

Computer consultant Ms Moore, 48, who now lives in Monaco, was awarded a symbolic one franc in damages.

Mr Boycott made an emotional plea to the Court of Appeal in Aix-en-Provence to clear his name and honour of the "stain" of his conviction.

Margaret Moore
Some of the injuries Margaret Moore sustained
But Judge Jean Claude Vuillemin told the cricketer: "The court confirms the previous verdict. That is to say you remain guilty of the crimes with which you were charged."

Boycott was defiant after the verdict.

He told reporters outside the court that the last three and a half years had been "hell" but vowed to get on with his life.

"I've never run away from anything. I've never hidden. I always front up and that's what I've done today and tried to convince them (the court).

'Justice has been done'

"I'm not embarrassed about it. I never hit her. I will say that to the day I die. My conscience is clear.

"I'm going to get on with my life. The most important thing to me is that I have never hit her. I've got my work and I've got to get on with it," he added.

Margaret Moore: I told the truth
Ms Moore, a mother of two, was in court to hear the verdict. She said she felt that justice had been done.

"He's wasted an immense amount of time and money in court. I think they have bent over backwards to be more than fair to him and I have just told the truth all the way through," she said.

Ms Moore added that clinical evidence in the form of photographs of her injuries, plus witnesses, had proved her right.

The former opening batsman - famed for his slow runscoring - left the court with his lawyer and partner Rachel Swinglehurst.

He is now facing an estimated 500,000 bill in legal costs.

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13 Nov 98 | Cricket
Boycott lands Talk Radio role
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