Bid To Move Trial Of Newcastle Footballer

A Newcastle United footballer who denies violent disorder in a bar should not be tried in the city, the prosecution has said.

Rolando Aarons, 21, is charged with violent disorder along with six others, following an alleged fight in a bar in October.

The winger, who is represented by Toby Hedworth QC and who lives in Montagu Avenue, Gosforth, appeared in the dock at Newcastle Crown Court to deny the offence, as did all the co-accused.

Ian West, prosecuting, said the trial, which could take two weeks, should not take place in Newcastle.

He said: ``The first question that arises is where the trial should take place.

``The reason I say that is because of the presence in the dock of Rolando Aarons, who is a professional footballer with Newcastle United.

``That complicates matter to this degree - clearly the prosecution would not want any Newcastle United supporters on the jury that tries him.

``I dare say Mr Hedworth would not want any Sunderland supporters on the jury that tries him.''

Mr West suggested the trial could be held in Teesside.

Mr Hedworth disagreed and said he was ``astonished'' at the application to move the trial.

The matter will be decided by the city's most senior judge, Paul Sloan QC, the Recorder of Newcastle.

The case was adjourned and all seven defendants were granted unconditional bail.

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