Three Leicester players accused of sexual assault fail to secure bail

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The three Leicester City footballers accused of sexually assaulting three women in a Spanish hotel room returned to jail last night after lawyers for the club failed in a renewed bid to have them freed on bail.

And today a member of their legal team said there would not be any decision on their bail application until Thursday at the earliest.

Paul Dickov, Keith Gillespie and Frank Sinclair spent a fifth night in the Sangonera Jail in Murcia on the order of a senior judge who was handed the case yesterday and was expected to make a decision on bail by the end of the week.

Hopes of an imminent release for the players, jailed for the alleged attack at a luxury hotel in La Manga last Monday, were dashed when the lawyer for the three women said she would continue to oppose bail unless new evidence emerged to challenge the allegations made by her clients.

Encarnacion Gomez, representing the women, said: "New evidence would have to emerge to suggest the crimes alleged were not as clear as now appears." Asked to explain her stance, she added: "You can't go around attempting against women's sexual freedom."

While legal arguments continued, the Leicester City manager, Micky Adams, revealed that he had considered resigning over the matter. Breaking his silence since the alleged incident, Mr Adams said he felt a "moral obligation" to discuss his position with the club's directors who gave him their backing.

Mr Adams stressed that three players still held in custody were "innocent until proven guilty". He also claimed he had witnesses to prove some of those arrested were not at the scene of the alleged crime. He said: "I did consider [quitting]. The darkest day was when the three guys were charged and taken away and there was nothing I could do for them. But I have never run away from anything in my life. I felt I had a moral obligation to say to the board and the chairman that if they felt I wasn't the right man to take this club forward I would step down. Fortunately they said I was the right man for the job. That gives me strength."

He added: "A minority of players let the club down but if they are guilty of anything it is of being unprofessional 24 hours before a training session - of being drunk to excess.

"If I am guilty of anything it's that I didn't put a curfew on the players. I know some of the players who were charged were not there. I have witnesses to prove that. Nine were arrested but some were not there."

He said of the three still in prison: "The players, the last time I saw them, were shocked, horrified, scared, uncertain about their families and the way their families might be treated."

Mr Adams' comments at a press conference at the club's stadium came as details of the allegations against the three men in custody were confirmed by Ms Gomez. She said the allegations centred on claims that two players restrained one of the women, while a third raped her. She denied that her clients had gone out on a date with the players or that they had consensual sex.

Ms Gomez said the court was waiting for scientific evidence from her clients' clothing. She denied the women, two from Kenya and one from Malawi, were prostitutes and said they had been staying at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, where the alleged attack happened, during a visit to watch a golf tournament.

The six players released last week returned to the training ground in Leicester yesterday for the first time.

Matt Elliott, Steffen Freund, Lilian Nalis, Danny Coyne, Nikos Dabizas and James Scowcroft joined the rest of the team to prepare for Saturday's match at Birmingham City.

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