Tuesday, July 21, 2009
GERRARD LOSES IT ON CCTV
CCTV footage of the moments leading up to a fight where England footballer Steven Gerrard "totally lost it" have been released.
Grainy images from the Lounge Inn bar show Gerrard dancing and drinking with friends before he is alledged to have hit a man "with the style and speed of a professional boxer" during a row over music, a court heard today.
The Liverpool captain launched the assault on businessman Marcus McGee, 34, after the victim refused to hand over control of a CD player at a bar last year, it was alleged.
The 29-year-old was with friends in Southport, Merseyside, in the early hours of December 29 when his party clashed with McGee, a member of another group.
Today, David Turner QC, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that Gerrard asked McGee for a card controlling the CD player, saying: "Here y'are lad. Give me that lad."
Mr Turner said: "Mr McGee took offence at his attitude and the expression 'lad' and he refused. "Not many people on Merseyside, or indeed anywhere else, would refuse a request from Steven Gerrard but Mr McGee did.
The prosecution claims that after Gerrard's friend threw this first punch, the Liverpool star 'totally lost it' and launched a series of uppercuts at Mr McGee's head
"There can be no doubt that this refusal astounded Steven Gerrard.
"He walked away back to his party but the CCTV shows how much his mood had changed.
"He was no longer the centre of that high spirited party.
"He was clearly walking around pondering, musing over what had happened - about the man who said 'no' to Steven Gerrard."
After about six minutes Gerrard returned to the victim who was sitting alone at the bar and allegedly confronted him with the words: "Who the f*** do you think you are?"
Mr McGee, who was not a DJ but was in charge of music for the night, stood up to Gerrard, Mr Turner said.
The pair were head to head, he said, "in the sort of hostile confrontation that is often seen between professional footballers".
The barrister added: "Steven Gerrard had clearly lost his cool: he was angry with Marcus McGee." The situation attracted the millionaire's friends.
One, John Doran, who has admitted affray, pushed McGee away but "could not resist following through with his right elbow into Mr McGee's face", said Mr Turner.
"We say at this stage Gerrard totally lost it.
"Almost immediately after the blow from John Doran, in fact within seconds, Steven Gerrard joined in the attack with a succession of well aimed uppercut punches delivered with the style and speed of a professional boxer rather than a professional footballer."
Mr Turner said there "was no doubt" that Gerrard struck Mr McGee and said the issue for the jury to decide was whether he was acting in self defence.
He said: "Steven Gerrard is a world class footballer. He has the honour to be captain of Liverpool FC and to play for England.
"He is a star. He is Liverpool born and bred and here on Merseyside is a hero.
"Wherever you go in Liverpool and indeed in the world there are little boys proudly wearing a Liverpool shirt with No 8 and the name Gerrard on the back of it.
"We do not say that Mr Gerrard is normally an arrogant man, we don't say that he is a bully. "What we do say is that that night he just lost his self control and joined in an attack which should never have taken place. He let himself down."
The jury watched CCTV footage which showed Gerrard and his friends dancing and singing football songs and downing shots in The Lounge Inn at around 3am.
Real time and slow motion footage was played of the footballer talking to Mr McGee at the bar for 23 seconds, then Doran elbowing him, and then Gerrard throwing punches.