Sex case footballers set to fly home

By John-Paul Ford Rojas,Spain
Friday 12 March 2004 01:00

Three Premiership footballers facing serious sex assault allegations today arrived at a Spanish airport to board a flight for England after being bailed by a Spanish judge last night.

The Leicester City players checked in at Alicante for an easyJet flight bound for Luton.

Paul Dickov, Frank Sinclair and Keith Gillespie were released from Sangonera jail in the early hours after a late-night court decision saw them allowed out on 288,000 euros (£196,500) bail.

The players were accompanied by the club's chief executive, Tim Davies, and had no comment to make as they arrived at the airport.

The three players will not be considered for selection for the remiership trip to Birmingham tomorrow, manager Micky Adams confirmed today.

Adams said today: "The three players have had a very traumatic week and will not be considered for selection for the Birmingham game.

"We have been training all week without them and, given the ordeal they have been through, what is best for them now is that they have a quiet weekend with their families."

The six other players who were released by the Spanish authorities last Friday are all available for selection - with the exception of James Scowcroft, who starts a three-match suspension.

Flight EZ 2222 was due to take off from Spain at 11.05am and scheduled to land in Britain at 12.45pm.

The players, dressed casually, checked in their bags before heading to the departure area.

They have been accused of attacking three African women at the five-star Hyatt Regency Hotel in the resort of La Manga where they were staying.

They walked out of Sangonera jail just before 3am this morning after bail money was deposited with a court in nearby Cartagena.

The court had sat through lunch and long into the night in order to reach its decision.

The proceedings included a face-to-face confrontation between one of the alleged victims and one of the accused, as well as statements from witnesses such as taxi drivers, hotel staff and guests.

The alleged victims were also at court yesterday, although one of them was unable to give evidence due to ill health.

After the decision to grant the players bail, Mr Davies read out a statement on the court steps saying that they maintained their "total innocence".

But he added: "It is not quite all over. They still face the charges."

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