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EDITIONS
Thursday, 15 November, 2001, 17:51 GMT
Leeds player calls team-mate a 'liar'
Jonathan Woodgate leaving court on 14 November
Jonathan Woodgate denies all charges
Leeds and England footballer Jonathan Woodgate has accused his team-mate Michael Duberry of lying in court to save himself from jail.

Mr Woodgate, 21, has denied taking part in an attack on a student in Leeds city centre in January last year.


He [Michael Duberry] said he was not going to prison for 20 months

Jonathan Woodgate
He told Hull Crown Court on Thursday he was no longer friends with Mr Duberry after the player gave evidence at a first trial earlier this year and at the current trial.

Mr Woodgate, of Middlesbrough, his team-mate Lee Bowyer, 24, of Leeds, and Paul Clifford and Neale Caveney, both 22 and from Middlesbrough, all deny assaulting Sarfraz Najeib on 11 January last year. They also deny affray.

Mr Duberry was found not guilty of conspiracy charges at the first trial, following the alleged attack on Mr Najeib.

Mr Najeib suffered multiple injuries including a broken nose, fractured cheekbone and a bite mark to his right cheek in the alleged attack.

'Cover-up'

The first trial was halted after an article in the Sunday Mirror.

Leeds United defender Michael Duberry
Duberry has denied he made up the story about Mr Woodgate
Mr Duberry told the jury at Hull Crown Court last month that despite his original lies to police, he had told the truth about Mr Woodgate's confession.

Mr Woodgate told the court on Thursday the first he knew about what Mr Duberry was going to say in giving evidence last month was five minutes before the latter took the stand.

Asked by his own counsel whether Mr Duberry mentioned his fears about imprisonment, Mr Woodgate said: "He said he was not going to prison for 20 months."

Mr Duberry has already told the court he and Mr Woodgate were still friends despite him giving evidence against him.

But asked by his counsel David Fish, QC, if he still regarded Mr Duberry as a friend, Mr Woodgate said: "No, because he said in court I had done something that I had not done."

Mr Woodgate has denied attacking Mr Najeib, 21, on a night he was out on a pub crawl with friends in Leeds.

He said he was "not steaming drunk."

Mr Woodgate told the court how he had been to three pubs and a lap dancing club with friends visiting from Middlesbrough.

'In control'

He had tried to stop a row between his friend and two other white men outside a nightclub later in the evening.

Sarfraz Najeib
Sarfraz Najeib suffered serious injuries

He said he was "in control" as they went into the Majestyk nightclub.

He later went outside where Mr Hewison was arguing with two other white men and tried to calm him down.

He claimed that he saw: "A punch or a push or something between some Asians and Jamie (Hewison).

"I remember everyone just started running. I went to see what was going on."

He said he was running at the back of the group and remembered Lee Bowyer passing him but he then went over on his ankle.

He said he then heard "loads of shouting" and hobbled to the corner of Mill Hill and saw a group of people but did not join them.

Phone call

Woodgate told the jury that Mr Duberry had given him and his four friends a lift in his Range Rover.

They went back to Mr Duberry's home.

While there, Mr Woodgate took a call on Mr Duberry's mobile telephone from fellow Leeds player Michael Bridges.

"He just said 'There's a lad in a bad way'," said Woodgate. "I presumed it was the trouble down Mill Hill."

Asked how he felt, Mr Woodgate said: "I was concerned."

Under cross-examination by Nicholas Campbell QC, prosecuting, Mr Woodgate admitted he had said he had no recollection of this call when questioned in the first trial.

Woodgate told the court that he remembered the telephone call after he gave evidence at the first trial.

The trial was adjourned until Friday.


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