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Wednesday, 17 October, 2001, 18:46 GMT 19:46 UK
Attack victim's brother 'mentally scarred'
Sarfraz Najeib
Sarfraz Najeib spent seven days in hospital
A student who saw his brother beaten by a gang alleged to include two Leeds United footballers told a court it had left him "mentally scarred for life".

A jury at Hull Crown Court heard that Shahzad Najeib, 22, was assaulted as he tried to stop the attack on his younger brother Sarfraz, 21, outside a Leeds nightclub.


I suffer from anxiety and I feel as though I have been psychologically scarred for life

Shahzad Najeib
He said his physical injuries were only minor, but he had had to seek medical help for depression six months after the incident.

"It is the mental scars I am left with," he told the court on Wednesday.

"I suffer from anxiety and I feel as though I have been psychologically scarred for life."

Sarfraz Najeib, from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, was chased through Leeds city centre after a confrontation outside the Majestyk nightclub in January last year.

His injuries included a fractured leg, broken nose, fractured cheekbone and a bite mark to his right cheek, and he spent seven days in Leeds Infirmary recovering.

Earlier he told the court that he and his brother and three friends had seen the group of eight or nine men outside the club appearing drunk.

Charges denied

But he denied taunting them shortly before the assault.

England defender Jonathan Woodgate and England U-21 midfielder Lee Bowyer are accused of kicking and punching Mr Najeib, during the attack.

Mr Bowyer, 24, of Leeds, and Mr Woodgate, 21, of Middlesbrough, deny causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Najeib and affray.

Two of Mr Woodgate's friends, Paul Clifford and Neale Caveney, both 22 and from Middlesbrough, also deny the charges.

Identification error

On the third day of the re-trial, Shahzad Najeib told how he had run towards his brother to try to help when he was tripped to the ground by one of the gang.

"I repeated several times 'Stop, stop, leave him. He's had enough'."

He said that as he approached the group, two men came towards him and one punched him in the face.

Jonathan Woodgate
Jonathan Woodgate: Accused of attack
He fell to the ground and when he got back on his feet he was punched again on the back of the head.

While on the floor he was kicked in the head and chest, he told the jury.

He said while he was being attacked, the assault on his brother continued, but then his assailants stopped and walked off.

Shahzad Najeib admitted in cross examination he had wrongly identified Mr Woodgate as one of the men involved in an exchange between him and a group of his friends and a group of drunken white males outside the nightclub.

He realised the identification mistake when he saw CCTV pictures.

He agreed with Mr Woodgate's counsel, David Fish he "wouldn't know Jonathan Woodgate from Jimmy Greaves".

The players' first trial collapsed in April this year following the publication of a newspaper article in the Sunday Mirror.

The trial continues.

See also:

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