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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 January 2008, 19:26 GMT
Footballer Barton freed on bail
Joey Barton leaving court
Joey Barton is due back in court on 16 January
Newcastle and England midfielder Joey Barton has been released from jail after being granted bail by a judge.

He was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray after an incident in Liverpool's Church Street.

The 25-year-old, who had been in jail for a week, was earlier refused bail by Liverpool magistrates.

But after an hour-long hearing at the city's crown court a judge granted it to him and he walked out of Liverpool Prison, Walton, at 1800 GMT.

He is due back in court on 16 January.

Family waiting

Mr Barton was arrested along with his 19-year-old brother Andrew and Nadine Wilson, 27, from Huyton, Merseyside, on 27 December.

He was collected from outside prison by his solicitor Daniel Weed and Peter Kay, the chief executive of the Sporting Chance Clinic in Hampshire.

Members of the player's family were also waiting in cars outside the jail.

The footballer, who appeared before magistrates via videolink, had been held since his arrest and has missed Newcastle's defeats at Chelsea and at home to Manchester City.

Joey Barton
Joey Barton has missed two Newcastle United games

Judge David Swift granted him bail after the later hearing in chambers at Liverpool Crown Court.

Had he not been granted bail, Mr Barton would have remained in Liverpool Prison for Newcastle's game against Stoke in the FA Cup and the Premier League match away to Manchester United.

The charges follow an alleged confrontation at a McDonald's in Liverpool at 0530 GMT on 27 December.

Mr Barton, of Widnes, Cheshire, was jointly charged with his brother, Andrew, 19, also of Widnes, who is accused of assault causing actual bodily harm and affray.

Ms Wilson is charged with common assault and affray.

Both were granted bail at a hearing before Liverpool magistrates on 28 December.

SEE ALSO
Joey Barton charged with assault
28 Dec 07 |  England

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