England

Marlon King vows to overturn sex attack conviction

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionMarlon King: "I did not sexually assault a female. I did not punch any female at a nightclub"

Former Premier League footballer Marlon King has said "he will fight tooth and nail" to overturn his conviction for sexually assaulting a woman in a club.

King, 30, was jailed for 18 months after being convicted of groping the 20-year-old woman then punching her in the face, breaking her nose.

The former Wigan Athletic player, who claims he was the victim of mistaken identity, was freed last week.

"I'm not trying to paint myself as an angel but I am no sex beast," he said.

On the night of the attack in December 2008 King had been out to the Soho Revue Bar in west London celebrating his wife's pregnancy.

After he was found guilty, the court heard he had 13 previous convictions.

'Made mistakes'

He told BBC Radio 5 live's Victoria Derbyshire he was not trying to hide from his past.

"Just because I've made mistakes it doesn't make me guilty of every crime I'm accused of," he said.

"People say to me - 'why aren't you remorseful?' You can't be remorseful for something you haven't done."

A caller to the show accused the former striker of hating women.

But King's wife, who was also being interviewed, said she knew her husband was innocent and defended him.

"It would be lucrative for me to leave him," she said.

"I am going to stand by him. I know he did not attack that lady and I know he does not hate women."

King added: "I've got a daughter, wife and sisters. It's ludicrous to say I hate women."

The striker said he would present new evidence in his appeal, including CCTV footage from the night of the attack.

He claims that the person who attacked the university student had already been thrown out of the bar and he has been mistakenly identified as the attacker.

However, several witnesses - including a football coach - testified at his trial that King was indeed responsible.

The jury heard how the Jamaica international approached the woman, saying: "Don't you know who I am? I'm a millionaire."

He groped her and, when she rejected his advances, he smashed her in the face with a clenched fist, breaking her nose.

'Lot of heat'

In the interview with Radio 5 live, King also explained that he wanted to resume his football career.

"I do not expect to walk into a team and understand there's a lot of heat on my name at the moment," he said.

"To come out and say I deserve another chance - that is admitting guilt. I am not guilty.

"Life goes on. I still have to go out and work and feed my family like everyone else."

However, victims' campaigner and former police officer Norman Brennan called on King to draw a line under the affair and move on.

"Twelve men and women heard all the evidence and decided he was guilty of sexual assault - beyond reasonable doubt.

"He had the chance through his barrister to put his defence forward and this was the result.

"The maximum sentence for indecent assault is 10 years. Mr King was sentenced to just 18 months and served just half of that.

"All in all Mr King has not done too badly out of it.

"He should look in the mirror and be man enough to face up to the consequences of his actions.

"He should draw a line under it and move on like the victim in this case has had to do - even though she will have been mentally scarred by what happened."

King said he had been in talks with unnamed clubs possibly interested in signing him.

He was sacked by Wigan Athletic shortly after his conviction in October 2009.

King's former clubs include Nottingham Forest, Watford, Middlesbrough and Gillingham.

He was on loan from Wigan to Hull City when he sexually assaulted the woman.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites