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Tuesday, June 2, 1998 Published at 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK


UK

Vinnie Jones guilty of assault

Vinnie Jones arriving at the court with his wife

The footballer Vinnie Jones has been found guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage.

Sentence on the 33 year old Welsh international was adjourned for reports.

During the trial, magistrates in St Albans, Herts, heard how Jones launched a late-night attack on neighbour Timothy Gear in November last year.

Mr Gear said that Jones banged on the door in his mobile home and smashed a window.

When he opened the door he said Jones bit him on top of the head, punched, kicked and then stamped on him.

Vinnie Jones told the court he called on Mr Gear to ask him why he had removed a stile near Jones's smallholding.

He said Mr Gear pulled him into the caravan and the two men then "thrashed around".

Jones said he threw no punches and did not kick, stamp on or bite Mr Gear.

A doctor called to give evidence by Jones's lawyers told the court that Mr Gear's injuries were very minor and consistent with a scuffle.

Forensic pathologist Dr Michael Heath said he could see no evidence of injuries caused by biting, kicking, punching or stamping.

Barrister Piers Reed, for Jones, told the court that the prosecution case did not add up.

"The concept of a 32-year-old fit, strong, professional footballer in the Premier League, as he then was, putting the boot in, stamping, using the tools of his trade, his feet, and creating a few signs of a scuffle. In our submission it simply does not add up," said Mr Reed.

He added that Jones was of good character and had no previous convictions.

"He is a family man who devotes an enormous amount of his time to charity," said Mr Reed.

"That is a side of Vinnie Jones perhaps not known to the world. That is the man. Unlike the reputation of the hard man on the football field."

Jones has been accompanied throughout the two-day trial by his wife Tanya. The couple have two small children - a boy and a girl.



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