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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Two cleared of attacking QPR boss
Gianni Paladini
Mr Paladini was the majority shareholder at QPR
Two men have been cleared of taking part in a gunpoint attack on a Queens Park Rangers director.

Club shareholder David Morris and John McFarlane were found not guilty of conspiracy to blackmail, false imprisonment and gun possession.

Blackfriars Crown Court had heard allegations Gianni Paladini was punched and threatened after an ambush by Mr Morris and a gang.

Jurors resume deliberations on charges against four others on Thursday.

Mr Paladini, 60, told the court he was forced to sign a resignation letter after being ambushed at gunpoint just before a home match in August 2005.

Mr Morris, 50, from Buckinghamshire and Mr McFarlane, 39, from west London, had denied all charges.

Outside the court, Mr Morris said he was happy the jury had reached "true and just verdicts of not guilty".

"I have remained silent for the last 10 months and will continue to do so until the trial of my co-defendants is over," he said.

The other defendants are: Andy Baker, 40, from Somerset; Aaron Lacey, 36, from Watford; David Davenport, 38, from Buckinghamshire; Michael Reynolds, 45, from north London. They also deny all charges.

'Hired muscle'

The co-defendants told the court they had been invited to the game by Mr Morris's brother and were given a guided tour of the Loftus Road stadium.

John McFarlane - found not guilty
Mr McFarlane had denied the charges

They said they were at the ground as part of their bid to secure a stewarding contract at the stadium and had no knowledge of any attack on Mr Paladini.

Mr Paladini had alleged during the trial that Mr Morris asked him for a word a few minutes before the start of a game at the club's Loftus Road grounds, in west London.

But when he went into the chief executive's suite, he was surrounded by "hired muscle", who aggressively told him to sign the documents and resign, the court heard.

He claimed he was warned he would be killed if he did not sign.

He also told the court he was repeatedly punched and slapped, before escaping and shouting for help.


SEE ALSO
Man denies threatening QPR boss
31 May 06 |  London

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