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Friday 15 December 2017

Liverpool star Gerrard 'threw the first punch' at businessman

Liverpool star Steven Gerrard
Liverpool star Steven Gerrard

Liverpool star Steven Gerrard assaulted a businessman outside a bar when he "threw the first punch", a court has heard.

An altercation, partly captured on CCTV footage from a nearby bank, was later obtained by an off-duty policewoamn to be used as "a tool for blackmail".

Paul Lloyd (35), told Preston Crown Court he was later handed a DVD copy of the footage which he says shows the former England captain and 11 others attacking him in Formby, Merseyside, on August 4 last year.

His account was labelled as "nonsense" by a prosecutor who said that Gerrard (34), was seeking to avoid any involvement in a confrontation and was attempting to defuse the situation.

Days later after the incident, Helen Jones (33), on a career break from Merseyside Police, then went to the Lloyd's Bank branch in Formby, "flashing her warrant card" to get a copy of the CCTV footage.

Jones, from Colchester Close, Chatham, Kent, a police officer of eight years, has admitted misconduct in a public office.

Hearing

Mr Lloyd was summoned to court to give evidence at a hearing for a judge to decide whether Jones's conduct was not only illegal but, as the prosecution say, for "criminal purposes".

Asked what was on the footage Mr Lloyd said: "It showed me on my own assaulted by 12 people and Steven Gerrard being aggressive and throwing the first punch, and all his friends thought it was right for me to be kicked and punched for four minutes."

He said after viewing the footage he met up with Lee McPartland, a friend of Gerrard, and an offer to pay him money was made.

"Mr McParland requested to smooth it over and buy me a drink," Mr Lloyd said.

"He said, 'I will get your money off Steven now. Let's put this to bed'.

"I was not wanting money."

Mr Lloyd said he received a phone call offering him the DVD from "a friend of a friend" but was not prepared to name either.

"I'm not getting anyone else involved in the case. It's made my life a misery," he said.

He denied that he wanted to sell the story to the newspapers.

hnews@herald.ie

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