Barton's training-ground assault trial to start

Barton's training-ground assault trial to start

Premier League footballer Joey Barton will go on trial for assault today.

He is accused of attacking his then team-mate Ousmane Dabo during a training ground bust-up on May 1 last year, while both were playing for Manchester City.

Former England captain Stuart Pearce, the then manager of the club, is expected to give evidence, along with footballers Paul Dickov, Joe Hart and Sylvan Distin.

All were at Manchester City at the time of the incident.

Capped once by England, Barton, 25, faces one charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Barton “strenuously denies” the allegation, he told an earlier court hearing, and has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The trial, due to start more than a year after the alleged assault, was put back until after the season had ended for the convenience of witnesses as many of the them are involved in professional football.

Liverpool-born Barton is now a Newcastle United player.

He was sold by City to Newcastle in a £5.8m deal last summer.

Dabo, 31, is now playing for Rome side Lazio.

The maximum sentence for causing actual bodily harm is five years imprisonment.

Barton’s trial is due to start at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, later today.

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