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EDITIONS
Monday, 5 August, 2002, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Footballers' trial: Prosecution case
Jody Morris, John Terry and Des Byrne
The three footballers deny the charges against them
Three footballers are on trial accused of being involved in a brawl at a celebrity nightclub in which a bouncer was hit in the face with a bottle.

Wimbledon defender Des Byrne, 21 and Chelsea players John Terry, 21, and Jody Morris, 23, are all accused of a fracas with doormen at The Wellington in Knightsbridge, central London, on 3 January this year.

Here are the main prosecution claims, which the defendants deny.

Prosecutor Jeremy Donne told Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court that Mr Byrne and Mr Terry had attacked a doorman "supported" by Mr Morris.

Jody Morris
Jody Morris leaves court

He said the three had become aggressive after drinking cocktail shots of B52s and had been asked to leave the club, but instead pushed their way back inside.

It was claimed that the fight then spilled back outside which was when Mr Terry hit bouncer Trevor Thirlwell in the face with a bottle.

Mr Donne told the jury the footballers arrived between 10pm and 11pm and made their way to a basement bar.

By 12.30am, he claimed, their behaviour, particularly that of Mr Morris, had "deteriorated" to the point where manager Sasha Keegan came to speak to them.

John Terry
John Terry heads home after the trial's first day

It is alleged that Mr Morris spat his cocktail out and swore at Miss Keegan who then called a bouncer and the fracas broke out.

The club's managing director, Phil Harding, called the police but Mr Byrne and Mr Terry, made for the door.

Mr Byrne ran across Knightsbridge before returning when, it is claimed, Mr Terry attacked Mr Thirlwall, both of them falling into a pile of rubbish stacked against railings lining the road.

The doorman is said to have grappled with Mr Morris and pushed him away, turning to see Mr Terry lunge at him.

The court heard he felt what he described in a statement to police as an "explosion of pain in his eye" followed by the loss of vision in it.

The prosecution claims Mr Terry had struck him with a bottle.

  • John Terry has pleaded not guilty to one count of wounding with intent to cause serious injury and one count of possessing a glass bottle as an offensive weapon. He has pleaded not guilty to causing an affray.

  • Des Byrne has denied possessing an offensive weapon and causing an affray.

  • Jody Morris denies causing an affray.

The defence arguments are yet to be heard.

The trial is expected to last for between two and three weeks.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Andy Tighe
"The doorman had to receive medical treatment for cuts to his face"

Click here to go to BBC London Online
See also:

05 Aug 02 | England
09 Jan 02 | Chelsea
09 Jan 02 | Football
05 Aug 02 | Wimbledon
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