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Footballers fail in bid for freedom

Published on 08/03/2004

8 March 2004

MURCIA – Three Leicester City footballers accused of sex assaults were to spend a fifth night in jail Monday after a judge adjourned his decision on the case.

The three were remanded in jail Friday by a Spanish judge after three women alleged they were attacked in a hotel room.

A second judge adjourned his decision Monday on whether Keith Gillespie, Paul Dickov and Frank Sinclair, who all deny the claims, can be released.

They were arrested Thursday last week after three German women claimed they had been sexually assaulted by the footballers at the exclusive La Manga sports resort near Cartagena in south-east Spain where they were staying.

Leicester City says it is confident of getting the players back to Britain soon.

Leicester City’s chief operating officer Paul Mace said: “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.”

Leicester City manager Micky Adams, in his first public statement since the allegations arose, confirmed he would not leave the club.

“Without wishing to prejudge the criminal investigations and our own club investigation, I am deeply concerned about the actions of a minority of my players.”

He said he and the players had a responsibility to restore pride in the club.

Relatives of the players, including Sinclair’s parents, visited the jail Saturday.

On Sunday Kelly Maguire, the girlfriend of Gillespie, also spent two and a half hours at the Murcia jail with the players’ lawyer, Ana Ruiperez.

Her father Luis Ruiperez, head of the Spanish legal firm representing the men, said they were “doing well”.

The players could be kept in jail while a trial date is agreed.
They face up to 14 years in prison if found guilty.

The players were moved Saturday from a reception area in Sangonera jail, near Murcia, to cells reserved for alleged sex offenders.

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 Friday.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news