Britain pardons Liverpool fan convicted in Bulgaria for attackBy DPA, IANS
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
LONDON - British Justice Secretary Jack Straw has pardoned a Liverpool football fan convicted in Bulgaria in 2005 for the attempted murder of a barman which he had consistently denied.
Michael Shields, 22, was sentenced to 15 years following a disturbance after Liverpool’s European Cup victory in 2005.
He was later transferred to Britain, in a case that had become something of a cause celebre. After spending almost four-and-a-half years in jail, he was freed Wednesday.
Straw said that new evidence had emerged which convinced him of Shields’s innocence. As a result, he recommended that Shields be pardoned.
Reports said another man had made a confession of the attack on the barman.
Louise Ellman, a Labour member of parliament (MP) for Shield’s constituency, described the release as a “triumph for justice”. Shields had been a victim of a “terrible miscarriage of justice,” she said.