Chelsea stars cleared over nightclub attack

Chelsea and England Under-21 defender John Terry left the dock in tears today after he was cleared of glassing a nightclub bouncer in the face.

Chelsea and England Under-21 defender John Terry left the dock in tears today after he was cleared of glassing a nightclub bouncer in the face.

Terry was cleared on charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, unlawful wounding, possessing a bottle as an offensive weapon and affray.

Chelsea team-mate Jody Morris was also cleared of affray at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court.

Wimbledon defender Des Byrne was found guilty by a majority verdict of 10-2 of possessing a bottle as an offensive weapon but was cleared of affray.

Byrne was fined £2,000 (€3,134) and faces 45 days in prison if he defaults on the fine. He was ordered to pay costs of £1,000 (€1,567).

There were shouts of ``Yes!'' from the public gallery as Terry was cleared of all charges.

Members of Terry’s family, who were in the gallery, also burst into tears.

Sentencing Byrne, Judge Fabyan Evans said: “You are a young man who has yet to learn that fame and wealth bring responsibility.

“I take into account your good character and references that have been heard.”

The charges followed an alleged incident at the Wellington nightclub in Knightsbridge, London, on January 4.

Terry was accused of glassing bouncer Trevor Thirlwall, 28. All three footballers were then accused of being involved in a fracas with Thirlwall and his brother Matthew, a professional boxer.

Terry’s barrister Desmond De Silva QC said his client had been the victim of a “rotten” conspiracy by people who had “crawled out from under the stones of London nightlife”.

Mr Thirlwall had told the jury his eye exploded with pain after Terry bottled him during the fight.

But Mr De Silva said the bouncers and staff at the club were lying as part of a conspiracy to protect the club and blame the footballers for the violence.

“The whole case against John Terry stinks, it is rotten,” Mr De Silva said.

He told the jury: “Beware some of these prosecution witnesses, I suggest have crawled out from under the stones of London nightlife and now parade themselves as virtuous victims, they are in fact fraudulent thugs.”

He described Mr Thirlwall as an arrogant thug and said money was behind the conspiracy of the staff at the night club.

“The club and its employees have done everything in their power to ensure that this Knightsbridge nightclub, this so-called exclusive establishment with pretty girls and expensive drinks is preserved. It has to be preserved at all costs, that’s the financial interest here.

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