Some good news for a change, if you can call it that, for Newcastle midfielder today in Liverpool.
Joey Barton – found not guilty at Liverpool Magistrates Court today
Joey Barton has been cleared of criminal damage and found not guilty at Liverpool Magistratesâ€™ Court of vandalizing a taxi after a night out in March last year.
Barton, who is currently serving 6 months in jail after admitting assault and affray to a 27th December altercation in Liverpool, left court to return to prison after the half-day trial.
Prosecutors alleged the player was with his cousin Joshua Wilson, 19, in the taxi in the early hours of March 4th of last year, when a row broke out at a McDonald’s in Liverpool.
Lawyer Robert Jansen said Barton became aggressive when the driver, Michael Kay, refused to go through a drive-through. Jansen then claimed that Barton ripped out the cabbieâ€™s radio after Kay refused to continue the journey.
However, fingerprints on the smashed screen were not Bartonâ€™s, and his cousin admitted in court that he in fact he had caused the damage.
It then took magistrates just 15 minutes to acquit the former Manchester City player.
Upon hearing the verdict, Barton said “thank you”, and is said to have smiled across to his father, who was in court.
Thatâ€™s now two down and one to go for Barton.
His next appearance in court is at the end of June where he is charged with assault in an altercation last May 1st (2007) against his then Man City team-mate Ousmane Dabo.
Whether these events will cause Barton to rethink his life and career and finally and get on the straight and narrow, we don’t know.
But for Joey’s sake, we sure hope it causes him to have a big rethink on some of his actions of the past year.