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Shock as Gillingham star is jailed

GILLINGHAM footballer Marlon King has been jailed for 18 months after being found driving a stolen £32,000 BMW convertible.

King, 22, who lives in South East London, had previously told the jury he had paid half the value of the top-of the range car from "a bloke known as Bigga" who wanted to "sell it in a hurry".

King had denied handling stolen goods on or between June 17 and July 23 last year but the jury found him guilty.

During a four-day trial in March, King told the court he thought the BMW 325i Cabriolet, bought outside Camberwell Magistrates' Court, was cheap because it had been imported from Germany.

On Thursday, King was cleared of a separate charge of assaulting a police officer outside a London nightclub.

Alan Liptrott, a member of Gillingham Independent Supporters' Club said he had been "absolutely gobsmacked" when he heard that the £5 million-rated player had been jailed at the Inner London Crown Court. He said: "The supporters have gone from being pleased and relieved at Thursday's result to utter shock."

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