Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Wright-Phillips cleared of nightclub theft

Tuesday 02 September 2008 15:51 BST

A footballer was cleared today of a charge of burglary relating to the theft of cash and mobile phones from a nightclub staffroom.

Southampton striker Bradley Wright-Phillips had the case against him discharged at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court after District Judge Anne Arnold ruled there was insufficient evidence against him.

The 23-year-old, who is the son of former England star Ian Wright and younger half-brother of Manchester City and England player Shaun Wright-Phillips, pleaded not guilty to the offence.

He was charged with the theft of cash totalling £85, three mobile phones, a driving licence, two bank cards and other personal effects from a staffroom at the Bar Bluu club on Southsea seafront, Hampshire, on 28 February.

The court was shown CCTV footage from the nightclub staff room, which clearly showed Mr Wright-Phillips, of High Street, Southampton, inside, but his solicitor, Rupert Bowers, successfully argued that it did not show him participating in a crime.

The footage also showed Mr Wright-Phillips' team-mate, Nathan Dyer, in the room. The 20-year-old, of High Street, Southampton, pleaded guilty in July to the same charge. He was sentenced to 60 hours community service and ordered to pay £392.50 in compensation and £65 costs.

Discharging Mr Wright-Phillips, Judge Arnold told him: "I am not satisfied there is sufficient evidence upon which a jury properly directed could convict you. I am going to discharge you in respect of that charge."

In a statement released outside of court, Mr Bowers said: "Mr Wright-Phillips always denied participating in this offence, and is thankful that this has now been established.

"He deeply regrets putting himself in a position whereby he came under suspicion.

"Mr Wright-Phillips now wishes to put the whole episode behind him and concentrate on playing football for Southampton."

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in