Athens (AFP) – Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was on Tuesday given a 21 month and 10 day suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer, bribery and other charges by a court in Greece.
The England international, who announced he would appeal the verdict, was arrested late last Thursday after a fight at a nightclub in Mykonos.
He was charged with assault, bodily harm, verbal abuse and attempted bribery, all of which he denied.
Maguire, who did not attend his trial on the Greek island of Syros, in a statement declared: “Following the hearing today, I have instructed my legal team with immediate effect to inform the courts we will be appealing.
“I remain strong and confident regarding our innocence in this matter – if anything myself, family and friends are the victims.”
Manchester United backed their player.
“Harry Maguire pleaded not guilty to all of the misdemeanour charges made against him and he continues to strongly assert his innocence,” the club said.
The statement from Old Trafford went on to spell out grounds for an appeal.
“It should be noted that the prosecution confirmed the charges and provided their evidence late on the day before the trial, giving the defence team minimal time to digest them and prepare.
“A request for the case to be adjourned was subsequently denied. On this basis, along with the substantial body of evidence refuting the charges, Harry Maguire’s legal team will now appeal the verdict, to allow a full and fair hearing at a later date.”
The sentence is suspended for three years.
According to media reports the nightclub fight started over claims his sister Daisy was injected with what the defence claimed was a suspected drug.
Maguire was arrested along with his brother and a friend after being driven from the club to a police station, where there was an altercation with the prosecution claiming Maguire offered money to be released.
The 27-year-old defender, who has 26 England caps, spent two nights in police custody before flying home at the weekend.
– Withdrawn from England squad –
Maguire’s brother Joe was found guilty of repeated bodily harm, violence against public employees and attempted bribery.
The friend, Christopher Sharman was found guilty of insult, repeated bodily harm and violence against public employees.
Both were sentenced to 13 months in prison, suspended for three years.
As his fate was being decided in Greece, Maguire was simultaneously being named by manager Gareth Southgate in England’s Nations League squad, only to be removed hours later.
“In light of this evening’s developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark,” Southgate told the Football Association’s website.
Earlier in the day the England boss explained he had stood by him after speaking to Maguire, the world’s most expensive defender following his £80 million ($105 million) move from Leicester to United last year.
“It is clearly a decision that is not straightforward,” Southgate told a press conference.
“I have spoken with Harry. I have the insight to the story which is very different to what is being recorded. You can only make decisions on facts you are aware of.
“If facts or information change I will have to review that decision, but I have a fantastic relationship with the boy — he has been a fantastic character for us. He has my support at this moment.”
Later Tuesday Daisy Maguire posted on Instagram: “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun; the moon, and the truth – Buddha.”
While Maguire is now out of immediate involvement on the international scene his club United are due back in training on September 2, with no pre-season friendlies scheduled.
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