|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Newcastle's Barton granted bail
January 04, 2008 07:14 IST
Newcastle United and England [Images] midfielder Joey Barton was granted bail on Thursday but with strict conditions and ordered to reappear in court on January 16.
The decision by Liverpool's Crown Court came hours after a lower court had refused the player bail saying he was likely to "commit offences" if he were released from prison.
Television pictures showed Barton leaving prison late on Thursday before being escorted into a car and driven away.
Barton, 25, was arrested along with his 19-year-old brother and a 27-year-old woman in the early hours of December 27 following an incident outside a McDonald's restaurant in the centre of Liverpool.
All three were charged with assault and affray. The other two accused have already been granted bail.
An official at Liverpool Crown Court would not say what conditions Barton was under, but said the judge had specified that they should be "very stringent".
The BBC said he had been granted conditional bail as it was feared his fame might lead him to be targeted by other inmates if he remained in prison until his next court appearance.
Since his arrest, Barton has missed Newcastle's Premier League defeats away at Chelsea and at home to Manchester City.
Newcastle face two more tough games before his hearing, including a league match at champions Manchester United.
Barton joined Newcastle from Manchester City in June 2007 for a fee of $11.52 million.