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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 13:14 GMT 14:14 UK
Hughes secures parole from prison
Lee Hughes
Former West Brom striker Hughes was jailed in 2004
Former West Brom striker Lee Hughes left prison on Monday after serving half of a six-year sentence for killing a father-of-four in a car crash.

Hughes was jailed in 2004 for causing death by dangerous driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

The 31-year-old is set to resume his football career with Oldham Athletic.

"We have every sympathy for the families concerned but we are hopeful now he can get on with the job he knows best," said Oldham director Barry Owen.

Hughes, who was at Featherstone Prison near Wolverhampton, signed for League One side Oldham earlier this year and is likely to be unveiled next week.

His fitness will be monitored before a decision is made on when he will be selected.

I don't think Lee Hughes will have it easy - fans will remind him of the past

Oldham director Barry Owen

"There are certain family priorities initially, and he's got to get used to being out of prison," Owen told BBC Radio 5live.

"We anticipate his fitness will be assessed by the club when he arrives, and it will be then up to the management to decide on a plan of attack."

Owen called on fans to go easy on Hughes when he resumes his playing career.

"Any signing in football is a gamble," Owen added. "I'm not prepared to think about the moral aspects, I think he's entitled to pick up his job.

"I don't think Lee Hughes will have it easy. Fans will remind him of the past when he's playing football. But one would expect them to conduct themselves in a football ground as they would do in the street."

Hughes was in his 100,000 Mercedes in Meriden, near Coventry, in November, 2003, when it hit a vehicle carrying Douglas and Maureen Graham and Albert Frisby.

Mr Graham died instantly and his widow died in her sleep 13 months later. Hughes fled and was arrested 36 hours later after handing himself in.

Mr Frisby, 62, who suffered multiple injuries and still has trouble walking, said: "In my eyes he was sentenced to six years and that's what he should have served.

"As far as I am concerned he killed those people he could have killed me, after all he left me for dead.

"The arrogance he displayed in court says to me that he'll do it again. What makes it worse is that he's out of prison now to start his life over again playing football in the first division, whereas our lives have been destroyed.

"I have yet to receive any compensation for what has happened."

SEE ALSO
Imprisoned Hughes set for Oldham
30 May 07 |  Oldham Athletic
Footballer jailed for death crash
09 Aug 04 |  Coventry/Warwickshire


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