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Monday, 26 November, 2001, 14:30 GMT
Leeds player 'did not attack student'
Sarfraz Najeib
Sarfraz Najeib suffered serious injuries
A man accused of joining Leeds and England player Jonathan Woodgate in an attack on a student has told Hull Crown Court the footballer had nothing to do with it.


We were all concerned really because we were there and I was worried we would get involved because it was in Leeds and Jonathan Woodgate was with us

Paul Clifford
Paul Clifford told the jury he was worried because Mr Woodgate was well known to people in Leeds and was nearby when Sarfraz Najeib was beaten senseless in the city centre.

Mr Clifford, who is alleged to have bitten Mr Najeib, said Mr Woodgate had been standing near a corner in the Mill Hill area during the attack in January of last year.

Mr Clifford, 22, Mr Woodgate, 21, team mate Lee Bowyer, 24 and Neale Caveney, 22, all deny causing grievous bodily harm with intent. They also deny affray.

Confrontation

Describing the night Mr Najeib suffered a broken leg and broken cheek, Mr Clifford said there had been a chase away from the Majestyk nightclub after a confrontation between two groups of youths.

Jonathan Woodgate
Jonathan Woodgate denies attacking Sarfraz Najeib
He said a number of people, including Mr Woodgate, had run away from the club after one group fled.

Mr Clifford said: "We were all concerned really because we were there and I was worried we would get involved because it was in Leeds and Jonathan Woodgate was with us.

"That was all I was bothered about, getting dragged into something we had nothing to do with."

Mr Clifford, a former boxer, said he was concerned because Mr Woodgate was easily recognisable in Leeds.

He said Mr Woodgate and Mr Caveney were on the corner of Mill Hill, the area where the attack took place, while he was a short distance away.

Mr Clifford said he had not seen Mr Bowyer, the other Leeds player on trial, outside the club at any time.


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