Wigan striker Marlon King jailed for 18 months | inside World Soccer

Wigan striker Marlon King jailed for 18 months

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wigan Athletic striker Marlon King has been jailed for 18 months after being found guilty of sexual assault and actual bodily harm over an incident in a London nightclub.

King, who was celebrating both his wife's pregnancy and scoring a winning goal for his then club Hull City, was repeatedly "cold-shouldered" by women revellers in London's packed Soho Revue Bar last December.

When a slightly-built university student became the latest victim to push him away, the powerfully built 6ft 1in Jamaican international lost his temper and in an outburst of "completely gratuitous violence" lashed out, "smashing" her to the floor.

His single clenched fist blow was so powerful that two other revellers - one of them holding on to his arm - were also sent flying.

King had denied the attack claiming it was a case of "mistaken identity".

But after hearing overwhelming evidence from a string of witnesses, including a football coach who insisted he was the assailant, the jury decided he was lying.

He was unanimously convicted of sexually assaulting the 20-year-old and causing actual bodily harm.

The 29-year-old will now be left without a club after a mandatory notice period has expired.

"We have to follow the rules and regulations, which means we will have to give him 40 days notice that his contract will be cancelled," Wigan chairman Dave Whelan told Sky Sports.

"He is absolutely sacked — we will not tolerate football players who get sent to jail for 18 months.

"As far as we are concerned, he is finished with football at Wigan Athletic."

King also served five months behind bars in 2002 after being caught at the wheel of a stolen £30,000 BMW, while he has found himself in the dock on seven previous occasions for dishonesty, various motoring offences and violence against women.

Whelan added: "Right from the start, players are told that they are representing Wigan Athletic and their behaviour must be impeccable both on and off the field, especially off the field — when they're on the field, everyone can see what's going on.

"I do personally regret the day — when we signed him I always thought his heart and soul wasn't in being a professional footballer. We loaned him out last year, we were trying to off-load him this year and couldn't.

"I sat him down this year personally and said 'Marlon, this is your last chance to get yourself into the game and be a professional footballer'.

"He actually trained hard, I have to say that. Now, he's not managed to get onto the park, only a couple of times as a sub, but it is very disappointing."

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