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Thursday, 22 November, 2001, 13:33 GMT
Bowyer denies joining chase
Lee Bowyer
Lee Bowyer denies all charges
Leeds United midfielder Lee Bowyer has denied joining an attack on a student before fleeing the scene in a "euphoric state".

The prosecution accused him of indulging in a a "post-score celebration" or victory hug after taking part in an attack on 21-year-old Sarfraz Najeib.

Mr Bowyer, in his third day in the witness box at Hull Crown Court, also denied giving evidence "in a calculated manner" to mislead the jury.


You could not resist engaging in a post-score celebration

Nicholas Campbell QC
Prosecuting
Mr Najeib suffered a broken cheek and broken leg after being attacked in Mill Hill in Leeds city centre in January last year.

Mr Bowyer denied Nicholas Campbell QC's assertion that he had "pulled the wool" over the jury's eyes.

Under cross examination, Mr Campbell accused 24-year-old Mr Bowyer of taking part in a chase of a group of men in the city centre with his team-mate Jonathan Woodgate and two other men, Paul Clifford and Neale Caveney.

Mr Campbell alleged Mr Bowyer took part in the attack and then hugged co-defendant Mr Caveney.

"You could not resist engaging in a post-score celebration."

Mr Bowyer told the jury that when he was interviewed by police he did not believe he would be charged with any offence.

"I cannot believe I am here," said the footballer.

'Lurking'

"I never thought I would be standing here today. I was never in Mill Hill."

Mr Campbell accused the former England Under-21 international of "lurking in the shadows" outside the Majestyk nightclub in Leeds before joining in the chase along Boar Lane.

Mr Bowyer said: "That's rubbish. I was not part of no chase."

Mr Campbell went on: "You did go into Mill Hill, together with your team mate Jonathan Woodgate, and joined in the attack on Mr Najeib."

Mr Bowyer replied: "I was not involved in any violence that evening."

Sarfraz Najeib
Mr Najeib suffered a broken cheek and leg
Mr Campbell insisted: "You were being euphoric Mr Bowyer. You were all rushing away having succeeded in badly injuring someone that you had intended to badly injure."

Mr Bowyer said: "I was not part of any attack and did not injure anyone."

Mr Campbell told the footballer that the shoes he handed into police were not the ones he was wearing on the night Mr Najeib was attacked.

He said: "In the attack on Sarfraz Najeib you know that evidence of footwear was left on his cheek, on his jeans and potentially on his forehead.

"Those involved in the attack knew that there was a possibility of linking footwear to that man's body or clothing, and those involved would be anxious to ensure that the shoes they had been wearing did not reach police or forensic scientists."

Mr Bowyer told the court that the shoes he handed into police were the same ones he was wearing that night and said he had never entered Mill Hill.

Mr Bowyer, of Leeds, Mr Woodgate, 21, of Middlesbrough, and Mr Clifford and Mr Caveney, both 22 and from Middlesbrough, deny causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Najeib. The four men also deny affray.

The trial has been adjourned until Friday.


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