Lua Lua Faces Retrial

A footballer for Brighton and Hove Albion is to face a retrial after the promotion play-offs following a fight outside a nightclub in Newcastle between groups of black and white men, a court heard.

Kazenga Lua Lua was tried for affray at Newcastle Crown Court last month alongside two other men who were cleared.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict in Lua Lua's case and the Crown Prosecution Service has now decided to proceed with a six-day retrial.

The charge relates to disorder outside the Riverside club on Newcastle's Quayside in June last year. The prosecution alleges it was started by the footballer's arrogance and escalated into a large-scale fight between groups of black and white men.

Lua Lua, who used to play for Newcastle United, told the jury at his first trial that he had nothing to do with the violence.

Orivaldo Neto, 20, of Springwell Close, Winlaton, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to affray.

The 22-year-old player's case will be heard on June 17 next year - after the Championship play-offs, in case Brighton reach them.

David Batcup, defending, told Judge Simon Hickey the wait of more than six months for the retrial suited the player.

"Because of his position we don't want the retrial to take place before the end of the season,'' he said.

Mr Batcup said the play-off finals will be held on May 27 and asked for the retrial to be held after that.