18.5.04

No stains in Spain as forensic tests fail to link Leicester players to the sexual assualt allegations against them

Forensic tests from that fateful night in La Manga have failed to link the three Leicester City players with the crime of which they were so colourfully accused.

Frank Sinclair, Keith Gillespie and Paul Dickov were banged up in a Spanish jail after 'businesswomen' alleged they had sexually assaulted them. The women's 'business' was subsequently called into question and the players bailed for a six figure sum.

This latest news will come as a relief to the players who have protested their innocence throughout and was welcomed by club Chief Executive Tim Davies.

The media had a feeding frenzy at the time of their arrest as they were added to an expanding roll-call of footballers behaving badly.

The difficulty with such cases is that while footballers may be prone to bad behaviour, it is not necessarily criminal. Last year's case involving premiership players accused of raping a girl at the Grosvenor House highlighted just how messy cases such as this can get.

The Leicester players spanish saga was widely reported because Spain does not have the contempt of court rules which restricts our press back home. However the Grosvenor House allegations got the Attorney General twitching after the accused (and a selection of girlfriends, relatives and random friends) sold their side of the story to the press and the victim hired PR supremo Max Clifford. While we were presented with spectacular media coverage the ensuing case was thrown out after the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was no reasonable chance of securing a conviction on the evidence.

So from the stains in Spain to Park Lane hotels it may be easy to accuse footballers of illegal acts but as these cases show, it will not be as easy to prove a crime. At the end of the day it may well be down to forensic tests and a review of contrasting front pages to determine the cases that end up out of court.

The Spanish judge will now have to decide how to proceed. The accusers may lodge an objection but no doubt the media will make up its mind.

BBC report HERE
Sky News HERE

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