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Albion footballer can finish season before retrial
Albion winger Kazenga LuaLua has been given the chance to complete the season before returning to court.
A Crown Court judge yesterday agreed to allow the retrial of the Seagulls’ speedster to take place after the end of the season, allowing the player to focus on any potential Premiership promotion push.
The 22-year-old will now appear before a jury on June 17 next year at Newcastle Crown Court – less than a month after the Championship play-off final.
He will return to court to answer charges over his alleged involvement in a fight outside the Riverside nightclub on Newcastle’s Quayside in June last year.
The former Newcastle player was tried for affray at the city’s crown court last month alongside two other men, who were cleared.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict in the case and the Crown Prosecution Service has now decided to proceed with a six-day retrial.
The Crown Prosecution Service alleges his arrogant attitude led to a large-scale fight between groups of black and white men.
One man was punched to the ground where he was repeatedly kicked until he lost consciousness for eight minutes.
A Royal Marine had to intervene to save the man from further violence.
LuaLua told the jury at his first trial that he had nothing to do with the violence.
Orivaldo Neto, 20, of Springwell Close, Winlaton, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to affray prior to the court hearing in November.
LuaLua’s first performance since the trial saw him come off the bench to score an equaliser against Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
In June, he was fined £800 for throwing a woman’s iPhone down a drain at Brighton Marina on Christmas Eve.
David Batcup, defending, told Judge Simon Hickey yesterday that delaying the case by more than six months for the retrial suited the player.
He said: “Because of his position, we don’t want the retrial to take place before the end of the season.”
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