England

Darius Henderson case: Jury discharged over sheep farm hold-up

  • 7 March 2013
  • From the section England
Darius Henderson
Image caption Darius Henderson played for Millwall FC at the time of the alleged offence

A jury at the trial of a footballer accused of punching a "Good Samaritan" has been discharged because a witness cannot leave a sheep farm in Australia.

Nottingham Forest's Darius Henderson denies grievous bodily harm over an alleged attack in a restaurant in St Albans early on 1 January, 2012.

Judge Martin Griffith told St Albans Crown Court a witness was unavailable, working on a sheep farm in Australia.

A new trial date has not been set for Mr Henderson, 31, of Markyate, Herts.

The jury had heard on Wednesday, during the opening of the case, that Mr Henderson has been in a restaurant with his girlfriend on New Year's Eve 2011 when Hazel Kent approached them.

She claimed she had recently had sex with him, could describe his home and correctly identified the brand of his boxer shorts.

Fractured cheek bone

"There is no reason to believe that this was anything other than pure fiction, but Ms Kent persisted," prosecutor Alan Richards said.

The claims had "angered and upset" Mr Henderson, who later punched 42-year-old John Bell when he tried to talk to him at the bar, the court heard.

Mr Richards said Mr Bell was unconnected to Ms Kent and a witness believed he was acting as a "Good Samaritan", attempting to calm things down.

He was knocked to the floor and suffered a cut to his left eye and a fractured cheek bone, which required surgery.

Mr Henderson, who was playing for Championship-side Millwall at the time, signed for Nottingham Forest on a free transfer in January this year.

He began his senior playing career as an 18-year-old at Reading in 1999 and has also played for Gillingham, Sheffield United and Watford.

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