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 Friday, 17 January, 2003, 14:40 GMT
Ferguson in clear over assault claim
Duncan Ferguson
Police interviewed the Everton striker over the claims
No further action will be taken against former Scotland footballer Duncan Ferguson after he confronted a burglar at his home, police have said.

The 31-year-old Everton striker was questioned by detectives over allegations he had assaulted the intruder.

His legal adviser Kevin Dooley said Mr Ferguson and his family were "relieved" that the matter was now over.

We have made an informed decision not to proceed given the circumstances that he was faced with a man who was attempting to burgle his home

Assistant Chief Constable Ian McPherson
"He is grateful that Merseyside Police acted so swiftly and exercised common sense," said Mr Dooley.

"In my opinion, if more police forces in the country were to follow their example, there would be more respect for the judicial system."

A 37-year-old man last week admitted breaking into Mr Ferguson's new home in Formby, Merseyside.

Carl Bishop, from Walton, Liverpool, is due to be sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court next month.

He was caught and restrained by the former Rangers player, but later complained to police that he was assaulted.

Assault complaint

Detectives questioned Mr Ferguson on Thursday night at Southport police station.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian McPherson said: "Merseyside Police will not be taking action against Duncan Ferguson following the complaint of assault.

"We have made an informed decision not to proceed given the circumstances that he was faced with a man who was attempting to burgle his home.

He is grateful that Merseyside Police acted so swiftly and exercised common sense

Kevin Dooley
Legal adviser
"Mr Ferguson was in the security of his home with his wife and child when this happened."

He said the footballer had been placed in a position where he felt the need to protect his family.

"There is no evidence to suggest that he acted unreasonably," he added.

It was the second time the 6ft 4in footballer had confronted intruders at his home.

Prison sentence

Two years ago Michael Pratt and Barry Dawson were disturbed by Mr Ferguson as they broke into his then home in Rufford in west Lancashire.

Pratt escaped but Dawson was restrained by Ferguson until the police arrived.

Pratt and Dawson were sentenced to 15 months in prison.

No charges were brought against Ferguson.


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15 Jan 03 | Scotland
30 Jan 01 | UK
Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


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