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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 November 2005, 17:03 GMT
Bowyer payout for attack victim
Lee Bowyer
Mr Bowyer has made the payment without admission of liability
Newcastle United player Lee Bowyer has agreed an out-of-court settlement with a student he was cleared of assaulting.

Sarfraz Najeib, 21, from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, was beaten unconscious when he was attacked outside a Leeds club in January 2000.

The former Leeds United player's solicitors Barker Gillette confirmed a cash settlement had also been agreed with Mr Najeib's brother Shahzad.

The settlement ends a long-running civil action by the Najeib brothers.

Mr Bowyer was originally charged in connection with the assault in January 2000 but later found not guilty of both causing grievous bodily harm and affray.

Lee still maintains that he had no part in the infliction of any injuries sustained by Mr Sarfraz and Mr Shahzad Najeib
Mr Bowyers solicitors Barker Gillette

Fellow player Jonathan Woodgate, who now plays for Real Madrid, was acquitted of causing GBH but convicted of affray, for which he was given 100 hours community service.

Following the case, Mr Najeib's lawyers launched a civil action demanding compensation.

In a statement Mr Bowyer's law firm confirmed their client had agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of money to the Najeib brothers as a "full and final settlement of all claims made by them and arising out of the incident in Leeds city centre as long ago as January 2000".

The statement added: "This payment is made without any admission of liability by Lee, who has maintained consistently throughout two criminal trials and still maintains that he had no part in the infliction of any injuries sustained by Mr Sarfraz and Mr Shahzad Najeib.

Sarfraz Najeib
Mr Najeib was beaten unconscious in the attack in Leeds city centre

"The payment made is substantially less than claimed and is made in recognition of the simple fact that should he have to prove his innocence once again, the legal costs he would incur would be far greater and would not be recovered even if he defeated the claim once again."

The statement added that, as far as Mr Bowyer was concerned, the matter was now closed and he would be making no statements.

At the end of the second trial at Hull Crown Court in December 2001, Paul Clifford, a friend of Mr Woodgate's from Middlesbrough, was found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm and affray during an attack on the student and jailed for six years.

Another man, Neale Caveney, of Middlesbrough, was found not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm but convicted of affray and ordered to do 100 hours of community service.

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14 Dec 01 |  England
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14 Dec 01 |  England

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