28/04/2006

Jailed football fan denied retrial

Liverpool football Michael Shields, who is serving a jail sentence in Bulgaria for the attempted murder of a barman, has been denied a retrial.

The 19-year-old has had his sentence reduced from 15 years to ten years. However, a fine has been increased to £71,000.

Shields had gone to the Black Sea resort of Varna, where the attack took place, after watching Liverpool's Champion League's victory in Turkey last May.

He has always denied attacking Martin Georgiev, who was hit on the head with a paving stone outside a takeaway shop, saying that he was in bed at the time of the attack.

Another Liverpool, 20-year-old Graham Sankey, signed a 'confession' concerning the attack, but this was not considered by the Bulgarian court.

According to reports, doubts have now been case on whether the confession related to Shields' case.

Shields' aunt, Jeanette, said that the family was "totally dumbfounded" by the decision.

Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside said that it was "disappointing" that a retrial had not been granted and that the Shields' family campaign would continue.

(KMcA/CD)

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