Barton not scared at the prospect of prison

December 2, 2007

Joey Barton is not afraid of a prison sentence if he is found guilty of assaulting former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo.

The Newcastle and England midfielder is expected to be in court in June on a charge of occasioning actual bodily harm on Dabo - but Barton insists he has done nothing wrong.

In an interview for Inside Sport to be broadcast on BBC1, Barton said: 'If you go to prison for defending yourself then, yes, I suppose I'll have to think about it.

'I don't care. It doesn't scare me at all, because I've done nothing wrong. I can go home and sleep at night and know I've done what I thought was right.

'I don't think I'm a bad person. If the incidents I've been involved in had been to anyone other than a Premier League footballer, I don't think they'd even be mentioned. It was something that I've seen five, six, seven times since I've been a professional footballer.

'But nobody cares whether I'm innocent or guilty - nobody cares. I'm already guilty before I've been sat in front of a judge - that's the disappointing thing.

'It's my reputation. It's my fault I've got that reputation, but you shouldn't be slaughtered for trying to make yourself a better person. One day I will get to speak about the full facts.'