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Liverpudlian Liverpool supporter finally released from Bulgarian prison

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Liverpool fan Michael Shields has walked free after being pardoned of the attempted murder of a barman in Bulgaria.The 22-year-old student, from Liverpool, was convicted of carrying out the attack after his team's win in the 2005 Champions League final. Justice Secretary Jack Straw issued the royal pardon, saying that Mr Shields was "morally and technically innocent". Mr Shields' parents, Michael Snr and Maria, were said to be "ecstatic". Mr Shields has now been reunited with his family, who have campaigned for his release since he was convicted of the attack in Varna. Joey Graney, Mr Shields' uncle, said the family would like to see the Bulgarian authorities re-open the case and for the "real culprit to be caught". He said: "This lad has lost four-and-a-half stone. Why should a lad, a young innocent lad, have to have gone through what he's gone through? "I honestly believe there should be an inquiry. "There should be a public inquiry into this case and I think the government should pressurise the Bulgarians to re-open this case. "They know who the real culprit is - everyone knows who it is and he should be made to stand up and face what he really [did]." Mr Shields has been held in Thorn Cross young offenders institution in Warrington after serving the initial part of his 15-year sentence in Bulgaria. Mr Straw said that during the last meeting with the Shields family on 28 August he was told about a visit by two members of the Shields family to the home of another man alleged to be responsible for the crime. He said: "I was told that in the course of the visit that man made an oral confession to the crime in front of several other people. Maria and Michael Snr have been fighting for their son's freedom "When looked at alongside all the previously available evidence, [it] has now satisfied me that Mr Shields meets the high test set by the court." Mr Straw added that he believed Mr Shields to be "morally and technically innocent". His solicitor, John Wheate, said the jailed fan was "absolutely ecstatic" when he was given the news earlier. He said his client's family were informed by Mr Straw over the telephone. Mr Wheate said: "At first he couldn't believe it after all these years and knock-backs. 'Miscarriage of justice'"But now he is absolutely ecstatic and so are his family." The pardon follows a campaign by the Shields family, MPs, clergymen, Liverpool players and others who believe he is innocent. Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, who has been campaigning for Mr Shields' release since he was convicted, said: "Michael has suffered a gross miscarriage of justice, incarcerated for four years for a crime he did not commit and for which another man has confessed. "I pay tribute to Michael's family and the people of Liverpool for their remarkable courage and persistence." Mrs Ellman added: "Jack Straw has brought justice to an innocent young man. Liverpool councillor Joe Anderson, who embraced Mr Shields as he left the institute, said: "We've reached the milestone but the fight goes on to clear young Michael's name. "But today is for celebration that we've got him out and it's a fantastic day."
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In before Kompressor.

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Lol @ not executing the filthy scouserFirst they let those terrorists go, now himsmhHe's only gonna commit more crimes

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he was innocent. shits f*cked, the real guy confessed n everything n man was rotting in jailhope he's ok psychologically

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to be honest i've neve said amything bad about the guy oe said he was guiltyIf you went and found the other thread about him you'll see that the jist of what i was saying is that if he was innocent then he would be realeased and that people who did not know all there is to know anout the czse shouldnt be commenting or campaigning, as even though somebody else admitted to it there must've be sufficent evidence to have jailed him and why he wasnt realeased straight away on his return to England. and now his been released fair play to him, what i didnt like was people who were going off word of mouth and jumping on the bandwagon of protesting his innocence when they diddnt know all the facts

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How much compensation will he claim?4 years of projected doll earnings?

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and now his been released fair play to him, what i didnt like was people who were going off word of mouth and jumping on the bandwagon of protesting his innocence when they diddnt know all the facts
of course they knew they facts the guy that did it was well known and people were co-operating with the police and he admitted it himselfyet Sheilds was kept in therethere is a reason why there was a protest the guy was f*ck*ng innocent
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There are posters all across Liverpool plastered on community centres, shops and pubs, peeking out from sitting-room windows up and down the grimy terraced streets. "Innocent", shouts the bold lettering above a photograph of puppy-faced Michael Shields. "This young man is being accused of a crime he did not commit," insist the posters, published by his family. "Please come forward and help."Since this emotive appeal was printed more than a month ago, Shields, an 18-year-old engineering student from Liverpool's Edge Hill area, has been convicted by a court in Bulgaria of attempting to murder a local fish-and-chip shop worker. Shields, an ardent Liverpool FC fan who was staying in Bulgaria with friends after watching his team win the European Cup in Istanbul, is said to have smashed a paving slab into the head of Martin Georgiev during a drunken fracas at the Black Sea resort of Golden Sands. Mr Georgiev, who suffered significant brain damage after his skull was broken open during the attack, is now unable to work. The court sentenced Shields to 15 years in prison.In answer to the posters, someone did indeed come forward to help, but to no avail. It was announced during the trial that Graham Sankey, a fellow Liverpool FC fan and apparently a stranger to Shields, had confessed in writing to being the real culprit behind the attack. However, after examining the confession, made on condition that Mr Sankey would not have to stand trial himself, prosecutors decided that he was responsible for assaulting someone else. The refusal of the Bulgarian authorities to take heed of Mr Sankey's admission has sent Liverpudlians into anger overdrive and in the process brought Shields's plight to national attention. His family has begun a yellow ribbon campaign and called on the Government to intervene to save their son.Their cause has won many supporters. Liverpool footballers have pledged to back Shields - one player, Jamie Carragher, even dedicated his first goal of the season to the teenager - while local businesses have undertaken to boycott Bulgarian goods.The blanket criticism of Bulgaria's judicial system has infuriated authorities in the Eastern European state and the gathering storm around the case is now threatening to turn it into an international incident. But has Shields indeed been the victim of a miscarriage of justice, or is he a guilty man?One aspect of the case is not in dispute, and that is what happened to Mr Georgiev, a 25-year-old father of two young children, who on the night of Sunday, May 29, was at work in the Big Ben fish-and-chip shop at the resort. By the early hours of the next morning, the area was bustling with revellers, many of them drunken Liverpool supporters who had returned from their team's historic victory in Istanbul. Among them was Anthony Wilson, 18, who entered the restaurant at about 5am, visibly drunk, and ordered a hot dog and beer.After first refusing to pay, he sat down and began exchanging insults with two English couples sitting nearby. Wilson's friend, Bradley Thompson, 19, grabbed his drunken compatriot and pulled him away, throwing a few choice epithets over his shoulder for good measure. One of the English men chased after them, but when Wilson and Thompson responded by pelting him with bottles he then returned to arm himself with a couple of improvised missiles from the drinks cabinet in the fish-and-chip shop.Mr Georgiev went outside to try to calm the situation. He told the court that the last thing he remembers seeing was a fair-haired man wearing a white shirt, whom he later identified as Shields, run up and punch him in the face. Wilson, Thompson and, apparently, Shields, then set about teaching Mr Georgiev a lesson in what English teenagers abroad are wont to do when drunk: adminstering vicious beatings.Three Bulgarian witnesses told the court that they saw Shields pick up an 8lb paving slab and bring it down on Mr Georgiev's head, while Wilson and Thompson laid into him with hefty kicks. Daniela Krumova, a waitress working at Big Ben's, identified Shields as the person who hit Mr Georgiev with the slab. "He was like mad," she said, "out of control."According to Ms Krumova, Shields held the slab with both hands above his head and threw it at Mr Georgiev's head with all his might. The strength of the impact was such that the stone bounced off the victim's head.Danail Yordanov, also working at Big Ben's, recognised Shields as the person who hit Mr Georgiev with the slab. However, he said that he had not seen Shields's face from the front but only in profile.Vassil Todorov, who was in Big Ben's at the time of the incident, told the court that he saw Shields taking part in the fight. "He was standing over Martin Georgiev and had foam coming out of his mouth," he said.After the attack, the police were called and told by Mr Todorov that an Englishman at the scene had said the assailants were staying at the Kristal hotel. The next morning a number of English fans, including those staying at the hotel, were rounded up by the police. Shields was among them, as were his friends Kieron Dunne, 20, and John Unsworth, 21. All three had been sharing room 419. Room 421 next door had been occupied by Wilson and Thompson, who were friends of Mr Sankey, until both had been evicted by the hotel management earlier for disturbing other guests. The two groups had become friendly and had spent previous mornings on their neighbouring balconies comparing notes from the night's revelries.This morning was different, however. Their passports seized by the police, Mr Dunne, Mr Unsworth and Shields were asked to don white shirts and take part in an identity parade. None had been wearing a white shirt the night before, although Shields's was cream-coloured.Another man who was detained, although only briefly, was Mr Sankey, a 20-year-old electrician. Since he had dark hair and did not fit the description given to the police he was allowed to go free.Shields was not so lucky. He was repeatedly picked out by witnesses in identity parades, taken off for further questioning and later charged with the attack on Mr Georgiev. His friends, meanwhile, caught their flight back to Britain in the expectation, they said later, that Shields would be released and follow on a later plane.Within days, Shields's parents, Maria and Michael, were protesting their son's innocence to the media and making much noise about the "intolerable" conditions in which he was being detained. They insisted the teenager was a "gentle giant" who would never hurt anyone; there must have been some kind of mistake.The Shields family mobilised their son's friends to return to Bulgaria and give evidence. Central to Shields's defence was his claim, backed up by Mr Dunne, Mr Unsworth and others, that he had been tucked up in bed by 3am on the morning of May 30 and therefore could not have carried out the attack, which was said to have happened about two hours later.By early July, friends of the Shields family were also already pointing fingers at Mr Sankey as the "real culprit" - a charge that he emphatically denied. The trial was set for July 21, with Wilson also due to face charges of hooliganism and possession of cannabis.Significantly, Thompson, who had also been charged with hooliganism, had already made a confession, for which he had received a six-month suspended sentence, after confirming that he had attacked Mr Georgiev together with Wilson and Shields. However, when the trial began and Thompson was called to give evidence, he gave a highly contradictory and muddled account of events.In front of two judges and three jury members, Thompson said he did not know Shields, despite the fact that he had stayed in a room next to his at the hotel. Backtracking on his own confession, he said that he had only seen the fight from far away and ran off after a brick was thrown at someone's head by someone with "brownish hair" whom he did not know. In so testifying, he had effectively ruled out Mr Sankey as the culprit, since he was someone whom he knew well.As the other defence witnesses trooped in to give evidence regarding Shields's whereabouts at 3am, it became obvious that a surprisingly large number of his friends had seen him peacefully asleep at that time - even those who were not staying in the same room. All sorts of reasons were given for their having stumbled into the apparently unlocked room where they had, they said, seen his prone form before retreating. One had gone to the room thinking that there might be a party there, only to be disappointed to find every-one was tucked up in bed, while another had dropped by to retrieve his mobile telephone, and so on.One defence witness, Paul Graney, pointed the finger at Mr Sankey, although his testimony was anything but conclusive. Mr Graney said: "He never said that he did not hit anybody, but neither had he said he did hit somebody." Both Graney and Shields had denied being related, but eventually Shields was forced to admit that they were "kind of cousins".Then came the bombshell that catapulted the case into the headlines: from the safety of Britain, Mr Sankey issued a confession via his solicitor that he was indeed the man who had nearly killed Mr Georgiev. Mr Sankey was not, however, prepared to stand trial. His expectation seemed to be that Shields would now be set free and the matter forgotten about.The defence, naturally, seized upon the admission. But the court's judges seemed less impressed, prompting intercontinental outcries of incredulity. What nobody seemed to ask was why the court should accept a confession that ran counter to all the known facts of the case. In his statement, Mr Sankey claimed that: "I saw three men running at me with bottles and bricks in their hands. I panicked and stupidly picked up a brick and threw it in the direction of the men running towards me. I saw the brick hit one of them. I panicked and I turned and ran away and returned to the hotel."How Mr Sankey could be so certain that the man he had injured was Mr Georgiev was puzzling. Certainly the Bulgarian's injuries, which included having a three-inch section of his skull staved out with something far more substantial than a lofted brick, were inconsistent with Mr Sankey's account.The prosecution witnesses saw a man, whom they believed was Shields, smash a paving slab on Mr Georgiev's head. Even if they had mistakenly identified Shields, Mr Sankey's version was not in keeping with their accounts.Last week, Mr Sankey and Thompson were unavailable for comment. Wilson, who was given a suspended sentence for his role in the attack, is still in Bulgaria. Others were keen, however, to keep the pressure up for Shields to be released. Mr Unsworth, an apprentice pipefitter who had been rounded up by police at the Kristal hotel, dismissed the inconsistencies in Mr Sankey's confession. "Sankey is just saying that he threw a brick, but I spoke to a lad who was there and he saw him smash the brick on the guy's head," he said.And why had Mr Sankey suddenly confessed? Mr Unsworth shrugged. "Probably he thought it would not go this far, and then when it did his conscience got the better of him."Whatever the truth, the case is an unedifying one and reflects poorly on Liverpool's football supporters. Mr Unsworth summed up the unsavoury feeling about the whole affair. He sympathised with his friend left in prison, he said, but had little pity for Mr Georgiev. "I felt sorry for him at first, but by insisting it was Michael that attacked him he is just trying to get his compensation money. Anyway, he only came out of the fish-and-chip shop to help out the Germans who were out there."
It's an unfortunate situation for Shields, but Sankey should have taken the punishment.If that article is correct then the Bulgarian father who's lost his ability to work (and presumably his business) will not get any compensation from the attack now, because no one was convicted.
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to be honest i've neve said amything bad about the guy oe said he was guiltyIf you went and found the other thread about him you'll see that the jist of what i was saying is that if he was innocent then he would be realeased and that people who did not know all there is to know anout the czse shouldnt be commenting or campaigning, as even though somebody else admitted to it there must've be sufficent evidence to have jailed him and why he wasnt realeased straight away on his return to England. and now his been released fair play to him, what i didnt like was people who were going off word of mouth and jumping on the bandwagon of protesting his innocence when they diddnt know all the facts
Some Disney outlook, as if their aren't people imprisoned who were wrongly convicted.
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to be honest i've neve said amything bad about the guy oe said he was guiltyIf you went and found the other thread about him you'll see that the jist of what i was saying is that if he was innocent then he would be realeased and that people who did not know all there is to know anout the czse shouldnt be commenting or campaigning, as even though somebody else admitted to it there must've be sufficent evidence to have jailed him and why he wasnt realeased straight away on his return to England. and now his been released fair play to him, what i didnt like was people who were going off word of mouth and jumping on the bandwagon of protesting his innocence when they diddnt know all the facts
Some Disney outlook, as if their aren't people imprisoned who were wrongly convicted.
Yeah course they are and i hope he sues and wins some ridiculously large ammount of money but for people to come out and profess his innocence when most of them did not know the facts is silly as i said most people on these marches and protesting didnt know the details of the case and so had no place professing the guys innocence.
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:lol: /kompressor serious question are u even a manc
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Yes lived in Whally Range till i was 11. Whithington road to be exact just past the primary School for what its worth Just because i'm a manc/United fan doesnt mean i have to join in or agree with every chant thats sung.

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ok fair enoughdo u go on red issue , your a 'top red' lol

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I used to buy it but the only other football forum i go on is a Fc United one.and for future reference i've never reffered to myself as being a top red and never willthe kind off people who say this are comparable to the people who say "i'm not racist my best friend is black"i learnt this ages ago when i was working on my Uncles stall and a guy in a suit came up and claimed to be "a top red" from Failsworth (about 20 minutes away from OT) but said he hadnt ever been to a game, this guy was easily in his 40's

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