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Screams heard from assault scene

March 05, 2004 18:54 IST

Screams are said to have been heard from the hotel room at a Spanish resort, where three women have alleged they were assaulted by leading English footballers.

The screams and "sexual noises" were reported by a British mother, her husband and their 23-year-old daughter who were staying in the room next door when Leicester City footballers burst in on three German women before allegedly assaulting them.

The mother is quoted by the Sun newspaper as saying, "We could hear furniture being thrown around and men yelling and swearing at the top of their voices. I heard three female voices. They all sounded so distressed.

"One of the women was saying, 'Please stop, please stop. Just leave me alone.' "

The mother adds in her statement,  "At one point I heard one or more of the girls screaming out, but then it suddenly stopped, almost as though the cries were being muffled. We could hear sexual noises coming from the room next door. It was horrible, frightening."

The assault claim is one of the worst scandals ever in the history of English Premiership football.

Six Leicester City  players have been  told by a Spanish judge they must  remain in custody following statements from the women who allege they were attacked at the La Manhga resort.

Nine players were arrested, but three were later freed from custody. Former Tottenham player Steffen Freund was released without charge. Greek international Nikos Dabizas and Danny Coyne, both 30, have been "provisionally freed".

The other six, held overnight in jail, have been named as Northern Ireland international Keith Gillespie, 29; Scotland international Paul Dickov, 31; Lilian Nalis, 32; James Scowcroft, 28; former Chelsea player Frank Sinclair, 32; and Matt Elliot, 35.

The three women claimed the assault took place on Sunday night, within hours of the Leicester team's arrival at the hotel. They were taken to a nearby hospital, where doctors confirmed they had injuries suggesting they had been assaulted.

The players, who denied attacking the women, were arrested last Wednesday night after the women complained to police and handed over blood-stained underwear and a wristband as evidence.

A Leicester City Club spokesman said, "Due to the ongoing investigations of the Spanish authorities, the club is not in a position to comment in detail on the specific charges and allegations which have been made.

"However, the club is treating this situation with the utmost seriousness and will be launching its own full and thorough internal investigation. We have spoken with our players and they wish to make it clear that they will vigorously contest all charges and allegations made against them.

"Our immediate next step is to bring home all our players as soon as is practically possible and get everyone back on the training ground ahead of our Premiership trip to Birmingham in nine days' time."

Shyam Bhatia in London