Carroll assault charge dropped

Newcastle said today they were "pleased" that an assault charge against England striker Andy Carroll has been dropped.

The Magpies number nine, who scored again at the weekend, has been informed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that it had reviewed the case against him and decided there was no realistic prospect of conviction.

Carroll was arrested in October following an allegation he assaulted his ex-girlfriend Laurie Henderson, a lingerie model, at her home in Ponteland, Northumberland.

He was held for questioning overnight before appearing the next day at Tynedale Magistrates' Court in Hexham and was bailed to live with club captain Kevin Nolan.

Three days later his chrome-plated Range Rover was torched outside Nolan's house and graffiti aimed at Carroll was sprayed on a garage door.

A Newcastle United spokesman said: "The club is pleased for Andy that the matter has been concluded."

A CPS spokesman said: "We take all cases such as this extremely seriously and we considered the evidence initially provided by the police and decided the correct charge was one of assault by beating.

"We have a duty to keep cases under constant review and once we received a full file of evidence before the trial we looked at the case again.

"Having reviewed all the evidence now available, we have decided there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction and we are no longer proceeding with the case against Andrew Carroll.

"We have sent a letter explaining our decision to the victim."

Since he was charged with assault, Carroll pleaded guilty to a separate assault charge and was fined £1,000 after a drinker was hit in the face with a glass.

He was also picked by Fabio Capello to play for England, having already represented the under-21 side.

In his first season in the Premier League as a first team regular, Carroll has scored 10 times in 17 games.