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The BBC's Catherine Marston
"The four defendants remain on bail"
 real 56k

The BBC's Jane Peel
"Retrials are a fairly common occurance"
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Media Lawyer Patrick Milmo QC
"The consequences are very serious"
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Tuesday, 10 April, 2001, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Footballers face retrial

Leeds United footballers Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate will face a retrial this autumn.

On Monday the judge dismissed the jury, which had been considering charges that the two players and two other men had assaulted student Sarfraz Najeib in Leeds city centre.

He said the case against the footballers and two other men could be prejudiced by an article in the Sunday Mirror.

Defence lawyers did not oppose an application at Hull Crown Court on Tuesday to retry the case there on 8 October after the original trial was halted on Monday.

Mr Justice Poole said the pair should be able to get a fair and unbiased trial.

8m cost

There is likely to be a pre-trial hearing in September when defence teams are expected to argue against a retrial.

The Crown Prosecution Service applied to have the accused retried after the collapse of the 10-week hearing, which has cost about 8m.

Mr Woodgate, 21, Mr Bowyer, 24, Paul Clifford and Neale Caveney, both 21, all deny causing affray and grievous bodily harm with intent to Sarfraz Najeib in Leeds city centre last January.

On Thursday the jury at Hull Crown Court cleared another Leeds player, Michael Duberry, 25, Mr Woodgate, Mr Clifford and Mr Caveney, of conspiracy to pervert justice.


We would like to take this opportunity to express our deep regret about the subsequent chain of events

Sunday Mirror
On Monday the judge dismissed the jury of seven men and four women - who had been considering their verdicts for 21 hours over three days - after learning that some of them had seen the Sunday Mirror article.

A court order prevents the contents of the article from being reported.

The judge also referred a possible contempt case against the newspaper to the Attorney General.

In a statement the paper said: "We are currently seeking to establish the precise editorial and legal processes that were taken last week which led to the publication of the article in the Sunday Mirror.

"We would like to take this opportunity to express our deep regret about the subsequent chain of events."

Neither footballer was in court on Tuesday.

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See also:

10 Apr 01 | Leeds United
Ridsdale stunned at trial collapse
09 Apr 01 | UK
Recent contempt cases
10 Apr 01 | UK
Colin Myler: In the frame
09 Apr 01 | Leeds United
Profile: Lee Bowyer
09 Apr 01 | Leeds United
Profile: Jonathan Woodgate
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