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Friday, 23 November, 2001, 16:24 GMT
Blood on player's coat queried
Lee Bowyer
Lee Bowyer denies all charges
Blood found on the jacket of Leeds United midfielder Lee Bowyer after an attack on a student could have come from one of several sources, a court has heard.

The prosecution at the footballer's trial at Hull Crown Court claims Mr Bowyer, 24, took part in a savage attack on Sarfraz Najeib in Mill Hill, Leeds.

Sarfraz Najeib
Mr Najeib suffered a broken cheek and leg
It alleges two small smears of blood found on the right cuff of the footballer's black Prada jacket got there by direct contact with the victim's bleeding brother, Shahzad, as he went to the aid of 21-year-old Sarfraz.

However forensic scientist Mark Webster told the jury that the blood smears, which matched Shahzad's, could have got on the jacket by the wearer falling on blood left on the ground, or by someone else who had blood on them brushing against Mr Bowyer.

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

Desmond de Silva QC, for Mr Bowyer, said there was evidence that the footballer and Shahzad fell in Boar Lane and Shahzad suffered a grazed leg.

The footballer also claims he was "jostled" by a group as they came round Mill Hill.

Contact

Mr Webster said: "The blood stains could have been caused by the wearer of the jacket falling on to the ground where there was a small amount of Mr Najeib's blood sitting there."

Asked by Mr de Silva if Mr Bowyer picked up the blood by being in direct contact with the victim's brother or by secondary transfer, Mr Webster replied: "It could be either."

Mr Najeib suffered a broken cheek and broken leg in the vicious attack in January last year.

The trial continues.


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