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Gills star denies bottle attack on PC

GILLINGHAM Football Club forward Marlon King put a police officer in hospital by smashing him over the head with a bottle, a court was told.

King, 22, was said to have attacked plain-clothed PC Mark Searle in a vicious fracas outside a London nightclub. The £5 million rated player has pleaded not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The jury at the Inner London Crown Court heard that a passenger in King's silver Cherokee Jeep had stopped to urinate in the street.

PC Searle spotted the vehicle while on patrol with colleagues near Caesar's nightclub in Streatham, south-west London, in the early hours of September 23 last year.

He told the court: "It was about 1.35am and I went over to the passenger side because I noticed it was open. A male came out from some parked cars on my left-hand side and I asked him what the problem was and why the car was stationary.

"He swore at me, so I identified myself as a police officer and asked him to curb his language."

PC Searle said he then leant into the car to speak to the driver. He then saw the driver, Marlon King, come round the side of the car and raise his arm. He felt a blow to his head and he fell to the ground.

PC Searle was taken to hospital where he was treated for head injuries. He suffered a black eye, swelling to the head and a split lip and had to take two weeks off work.

The court heard that when King was arrested he said he had not deliberately hit PC Searle with the bottle but had thrown it at him because two friends had come out of the club after trouble with some men. He thought the officer was one of that group and threw the bottle to protect his friend.

Andrew Davis, defending, said to witnesses: "I suggest to you that PC Searle had his asp (police self-defence weapon) in his hand before he was hit with the bottle and I suggest to you that the bottle was thrown at PC Searle, not deliberately struck.

Mr Davis said to PC Searle: "The passenger says he didn't know you were a police officer and the defendant, Marlon King, claims he said he was sorry as soon as he found out you were a police officer.

PC Searle replied: "I don't remember the defendant saying he was sorry and I did not get my asp out until after the attack."

King, of Forest Hill, south east London, initially gave a false name and address when arrested.

The trial continues.

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