Wigan striker King jailed after assaulting woman | sports | Hindustan Times
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Wigan striker King jailed after assaulting woman

sports Updated: Oct 30, 2009 17:20 IST

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Wigan striker Marlon King was sentenced to 18 months in jail on Thursday for groping a woman and then breaking her nose after she spurned his advances in a bar.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan said the Premier League club will fire the 29-year-old Jamaican international, who had a contract worth 35,000 pounds ($58,000) a week.

"We have to follow the rules and regulations, which means we will have to give him 14 days' notice that his contract will be canceled," Whelan told Sky Sports. "He is absolutely sacked. We will not tolerate football players who get sent to jail for 18 months."

A jury at London's Southwark Crown Court unanimously convicted King of sexual assault and causing actual bodily harm with a punch last December in London.

"You have shown not a hint of shame at your disgraceful and arrogant behavior," judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said. "It was wholly unprovoked. Everybody in that group did their level best to make you leave."

The victim, a 20-year-old university student, and two friends, who claim King also pestered them at a London bar, were among a number of witnesses who identified the Wigan player. "Although they and others told you politely and firmly to leave her alone you weren't prepared to be ignored," the judge said. "Your response was to boast you were a multimillionaire and to say that the complainant was not in your league."

King, who told the court that he was the victim of mistaken identity, had traveled to London from northeast England to celebrate after scoring a winning goal for Hull, where he was on loan at the time.

King's professional career began at Barnet in 1998 before transferring to Gillingham, where he established himself as one of the best young strikers outside the Premier League. But his career stalled in 2002 after serving five months in jail for being caught at the wheel of a stolen BMW _ one of seven previous convictions since the age of 17.

In 2003, he was convicted for common assault on two women he chased through London with a belt wrapped round his fist. Three years later, he was convicted of threatening behavior after slapping another woman and then spitting at her when police arrived.