Footballer Marlon King 'groped woman and broke her nose'
The Wigan Athletic striker had allegedly shouted ''Don't you know who I am, I'm a millionaire'', before ''smashing her in the face with a clenched fist''. London's Southwark Crown Court heard on Monday that his ''completely gratuitous violence'' came just minutes after he spotted the slightly-built 20 year-old at the Soho Revue Bar last December. Marlon King keeps Hull City on all-time high in the Premier LeagueMarlon King charged with nightclub assaultTeen killed unlawfully in Greece, coroner rulesHull City move up to third in Premier League with win over West HamShe was part of a group of ''sporty type'' friends ''socialising, dancing and drinking'' the evening away, and had never met the player before. Some of them ''worked at a fitness centre, there was a footballer and also a sports journalist with a well-known TV company'', said Roger Daniells-Smith, prosecuting. He told jurors the 29-year-old defendant had not been part of their group and ''none of them had invited him to join them''. But that did not stop the married father-of-three from ''sexually touching'' the woman on her bottom, claimed counsel. ''It was neither welcome nor consensual, nor could he have thought that she was consenting to it,'' he said. ''They were complete strangers to each other. It was not an accidental brushing, or innocent contact that occasionally happens in crowded bars. This was deliberate and sexual.'' The barrister said the woman left him in no doubt what she thought of his behaviour, ''firmly'' insisting: ''Don't do that, it's not nice. Don't touch me.'' She had, he said, made it clear ''his attention was unwelcome, not reciprocated and unacceptable''. But instead of ''taking the hint'', King allegedly turned to two other women in the 20-strong group and started ''touching them around their necks and chins. ''They, too, recoiled from his touching them and told him very clearly to stop behaving in this manner.'' Mr Daniells-Smith claimed that although the Jamaica international did as he was told, it was only to pester the first woman again by ''stroking her hair''. ''Once again, she recoiled from him touching her, and told him to stop. He replied 'Don't you know who I am, I'm a millionaire. She replied, 'I don't care who you are, take your millionaire self away from our table.'' Jurors were told when another footballer also warned him to keep his hands to himself, King simply replied ''Do you mean like this?'', and stroked her hair again. He then allegedly told the woman: ''You're not even in my league.'' The barrister said when she pushed his hand away and he grabbed her wrist, she shoved him in the chest. ''At that moment Marlon King took one step backward and smashed her in the face with a clenched fist. He broke her nose with the blow. It was a completely gratuitous piece of violence against a slightly-built female. It was unprovoked and could not have been an act of lawful self-defence,'' he said. As security staff intervened and led him away the player allegedly told them: ''Why? I've done nothing wrong.'' The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was ushered to a private room to await an ambulance. She was later taken to hospital before being referred to a consultant for further treatment. King, who denies one count of sexual assault ''by touching'' and one of causing her actual bodily harm, insists he was the victim of ''mistaken identity''. But Mr Daniells-Smith said ''many witnesses'' not only saw the defendant attack the woman but recognised him immediately as a ''Premiership footballer''. ''There is no doubt that the man who sexually assaulted her, then broke her nose when she rejected her advances, was Marlon King.'' The barrister told jurors the player - at the time on loan to Hull City - was subsequently contacted through club management. He was later arrested ''by appointment'' at Charing Cross police station and gave a ''no comment'' interview. ''His defence is that this is a case of mistaken identity, and whilst he accepts that he was at the club that night, he was not the man who attacked the woman," said Mr Daniells-Smith. ''But the Crown say the evidence in this case is overwhelming. We will call six witnesses who independently not just identified Marlon King, but recognised him as a high profile sportsman.'' The trial continues.
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