31/07/2009

'Winkie' Home Free

A leading NI soccer player has been cleared of being involved in a counterfeit money scam in Spain.

Despite a period of detention in two Spanish jails earlier this year, all charges against Linfield footballer William (Winkie) Murphy have been dropped. He had been accused of passing counterfeit money in Spain and had been on bail.

Originally, the Blues star had been arrested earlier in Torremolinos on Spain's Costa del Sol on suspicion of having brought counterfeit money into Spain on a previous visit two years ago.

Throughout his arrest and subsequent detention, he had strenuously denied the original accusation - bringing counterfeit money into the country - which carries a minimum prison sentence of eight years in jail.
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The footballer has already had a taste of life behind bars after he was imprisoned in Spain for two weeks before being released on bail.

"When I woke up in the cell, I thought I was dreaming," he said.

"Waking up in a 10 by eight cell with bars around you, it's frightening, not a very nice experience," Mr Murphy said.

"I am delighted that the charges have been dropped and I can now get on with my life."

Recalling his grim experiences Mr Murphy said there six people were held in his cell.

"They were lying on the floor, people who had been drinking or fighting were coming in and just standing urinating in the corner and stuff."

Asked how he would have coped with an eight-year prison sentence, Murphy said: "It would be grim. I'm not even thinking about that."

See: Linfield Captain Bailed At Spanish Court

(BMcC/KMcA)

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