Vinnie Jones found guilty of assault

Diana Blamires
Wednesday 03 June 1998 00:02
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THE footballer Vinnie Jones was yesterday found guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage.

Magistrates at St Albans, were told how Jones, of Redbourn, Hertfordshire, attacked neighbour Timothy Gear in November last year.

The 33-year-old Queens Park Rangers and Wales star was said to have punched, kicked and bitten Mr Gear, 27, at his mobile home following a row over the removal of a stile that Jones had erected on the edge of his land. Jones, who denied the charges, will be sentenced on 2 July.

After the verdict, Jones left court without commenting. He was driven away with his wife, Tanya, and agent, Nick Davies.

Mr Gear's father, Michael Gear, 53, who helps his son run a riding school at their home in Redbourn, said: "I am very pleased especially for my son and the police. My son is very relieved. He just wants to get on with his life."

Commenting on the verdict, Ted Oliver, 50, a freelance reporter from Bangor, Co Down who was allegedly bitten on the nose by Jones in a Dublin hotel after England's abandoned game against Ireland in February l996, said: "I am only surprised that it has taken until now for Vinnie to get himself into serious trouble. His attack on me was completely unprovoked.

"I cannot feel sorry for anyone who could attack a neighbour in this way over such a paltry dispute."

Jones won backing, however, from one of his neighbours in Redbourn. Pauline Baron said: "Vinnie has been nothing but a perfect neighbour. Even when he first moved here he asked us if we minded... The guy has been nothing but a perfect gent."

After a hearing lasting a day-and-a-half, magistrates deliberated for more than three hours before finding Jones guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and causing criminal damage to the door and window of Mr Gear's caravan.

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