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Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 21:25 GMT
Manager in media concern
Frank Sinclair's girlfriend Nicola Welleans shows id at Sangonera jail
Frank Sinclair's girlfriend Nicola Welleans visited him on Monday
Leicester City manager Micky Adams has warned against a "trial by media" of three players accused of sexual assault.

Adams said Keith Gillespie, Paul Dickov and Frank Sinclair had been "hung and quartered" by the news coverage.

The players, who all deny the claims, are to spend a fifth night in custody as their bail applications remain unresolved.

They were arrested on Thursday after three women alleged they were attacked in a hotel.

A senior judge adjourned his review of the case on Monday afternoon, without ruling on the bail applications.

If they fail to secure bail, the trio can be held in the Spanish jail for up to two years before a trial.

If they are guilty of anything it is of being unprofessional 24 hours before a training session - of being drunk to excess
Micky Adams

Leicester City had said it was confident of getting the men home soon.

The club's manager Micky Adams, in his first public statement since the allegations arose, said he last saw the players on Friday.

He said: "They were scared, horrified and concerned about their families.

"I am not going to prejudge the players. All I am going to do is support them until there is a trial date set - if there is to be a trial."

Witnesses

Adams said that players had let the club down, but only by being drunk, and said he knew some of the players named as part of the investigation could not have been present.

"A minority of players let the club down but if they are guilty of anything it is of being unprofessional 24 hours before a training session - of being drunk to excess.

"There has been a trial by media but hopefully the truth will be told.

"I know that some of the players who were charged were not there. I have witnesses to prove that. Nine people were arrested but some of them were not there."

The club's chief operating officer Paul Mace told BBC Radio 4 he was confident the players would be released in the near future.

"We're obviously hopeful and optimistic (that they will be given bail) and we have always said that we felt it was a matter of hours and days before... we were able to secure their release rather than the weeks, months and even a year that I've seen reported."

Visitors

Janet Dickov, wife of Leicester player Paul Dickov, arriving at Alicante airport
Paul Dickov's wife Janet arrived at Alicante Airport on Monday night
On Monday, Frank Sinclair's girlfriend Nicola Wellean visited Sangonera Jail, near the town of Murcia, where the men are being held.

She was escorted to the visitors' entrance by a minder through a crowd of waiting media but made no comment as she passed through.

Paul Dickov's wife Janet later flew into Alicante airport - accompanied by officials from Leicester City football club - and checked into the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The men were also visited by relatives over the weekend.

On Sunday Kelly Maguire, the girlfriend of Keith Gillespie, spent two and a half hours at the jail and Mr Sinclair's parents have also visited their son.

Luis Ruiperez, head of the Spanish legal firm representing the men, said the men were "doing well".

Leicester East MP Keith Vaz and Leicester City chief executive Tim Davies met Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Monday in London.

Mr Vaz has written to the judge offering to act as guarantor if the players were given bail.

They face up to 14 years in prison if found guilty.

Nine players were originally arrested after three women said they were assaulted in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in La Manga, where Leicester City had been on a training break.

The other Leicester City players, released from custody, arrived back in the UK on Friday.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's James Munro
"There's still no sign of when or even if they will be granted bail"



SEE ALSO:
Cold comfort in winter breaks
08 Mar 04  |  Football
Football's troubled times
06 Mar 04  |  UK
Taylor fears media trial
06 Mar 04  |  Leicester City
Sex charges for Leicester three
06 Mar 04  |  Leicestershire


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