Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was today handed a 21-month suspended prison sentence after he was found guilty of assaulting and trying to bribe Greek police as the prosecutor blasted the footballer’s ‘pack of lies’.
Maguire, 27, was found guilty of assaulting police, verbal abuse, and attempted bribery after the alleged fight last Friday – just hours after he received the backing of England manager Gareth Southgate, who this afternoon named him in his next international squad.
Million of fans will now be looking to see if the player keeps his place for next month’s UEFA Nations League fixtures against Iceland and Denmark, after the Three Lions boss warned he could be dropped ‘if facts of information changes’.
The £85million defender – who was not present in court – has spoken out on the ruling this afternoon and is protesting his innocence, with plans to appeal the verdict handed down by the Greek courts, reports the Daily Mail.
He said: ‘Following the hearing today, I have instructed my legal team with immediate effect to inform the courts we will be appealing.
‘I remain strong and confident regarding our innocence in this matter – if anything myself, family and friends are the victims.’
Ioannis Paradissis, lawyer for two of the six policemen involved in the case told MailOnline that Maguire is a ‘disgrace’ and has ‘invented a pack of lies and has not had the decency to apologise.’
Paradissis said: ‘He has insulted our police officers and he and his friends left three of them injured. They had to be taken to hospital and were brutally beaten by Maguire, his brother Joe and their friend.
‘Maguire and his friends then invented a story about Albanians attacking his sister. I’ve never heard such rubbish. This was a shameful attempt to cover up their disgusting behaviour and an insult to Albanians and the Greek police.
‘Maguire is a role model, he should hang his head in shame and return to Greece to apologise.’
Maguire’s brother Joe who plays for non-league team Ilkeston Town, was also found guilty of assault, attacking police and attempted bribery while a third man, 29-year-old Christopher Sharman, was guilty of two assault charges and another of verbal abuse.
All three had denied the charges based on the evidence of four policemen.
The court heard today how Maguire told Greek police ‘don’t you know who I am? I’m the captain of Man Utd’, before attempting to bribe officers after his chaotic bar brawl in Mykonos last week.
The £85m star flew home on Sunday and remained in the UK ahead of his trial.
A spokesman for Maguire’s club today said: ‘Manchester United notes the verdict of the Greek court today. Harry Maguire pleaded not guilty to all of the misdemeanour charges made against him and he continues to strongly assert his innocence.
‘It should be noted that the prosecution confirmed the charges and provided their evidence late on the day before the trial, giving the defence team minimal time to digest them and prepare. A request for the case to be adjourned was subsequently denied.
‘On this basis, along with the substantial body of evidence refuting the charges, Harry Maguire’s legal team will now appeal the verdict, to allow a full and fair hearing at a later date.’
His lawyers represented him in court and his father Alan arrived shortly after 11am local time ahead of the trial.
Today, Maguire’s lawyer claimed in court that the footballer’s sister Daisy was injected with a date rape drug by two mysterious Albanian men outside the bar the defendants were at.
Daisy collapsed, triggering a brawl, and police rushed to the scene, with the Albanians fleeing, the court was told.
The court heard that Maguire and his group asked to be taken to hospital after the brawl, but were stopped by undercover police.
After more violent clashes, the three accused were driven to a police station, where officers kicked Maguire on the leg and told him: ‘Your career is over’.
However, officer Mickolos Kolios claimed while giving evidence that Maguire began pushing officers and getting verbally abusive.
He claimed the footballer and his brother Joe tried to bribe officers, with Harry saying: ‘Do you know who I am? I am the captain of Manchester United. I am very rich. I can give you money. I can pay you, please let us go.’
The court also heard that Maguire said ‘f*** the police both inside and outside the station.