Barton in court for assault

November 13, 2007

Joey Barton appeared in court on Tuesday charged with assault.

Newcastle United midfielder Barton appeared for a brief hearing at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester to set a trial date where he will face charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Barton, dressed in jeans, trainers and a dark blue shirt, spoke only to confirm his name and enter his not guilty plea.

He is accused of attacking then team-mate Ousmane Dabo during a training ground bust-up on May 1 this year while both were playing for Manchester City.

Richard Varden, prosecuting, said the earliest date a trial could be held was June 30 next year.

He added: 'I realise it seems a long way away although it's a straightforward allegation, there is an additional factor in that the defendant is a Premiership footballer.'

Mr Varden said the witnesses in the case would be other footballers.

Judge Leslie Hull released Barton on unconditional bail to appear for trial next year.

Liverpool-born Barton, 25, who has been capped by England, was suspended by Manchester City after the incident and sold to Newcastle in a £5.8million deal over the summer.

Barton has said he 'strenuously denies' the allegation.

The maximum sentence for ABH upon conviction is five years imprisonment.