UK & World News

  • 25 November 2012, 16:21

Spurs Attack: No Attempted Murder Charges

Two men who were accused of attempted murder following an attack on a Spurs fan in Rome have appeared in court on lesser charges.

Ashley Mills, a Tottenham Hotspur fan who was in Rome to watch the team play Lazio, suffered serious injuries to his skull and thigh when violence broke out in one of the city's bars.

The 25-year-old builder had been drinking with his brother in The Drunken Ship pub before the match when 50 masked assailants stormed in.

Two men, who were initially charged with attempted murder following the attack last week, have now appeared in court.

Lorenzo Contucci, a lawyer for one of the men, said the attempted murder charges had been dropped, but the men instead face charges of aggravated wounding with a weapon.

Mr Contucci explained the judge said the violence in the pub had not been racially motivated, but it was a "football-related crime".

The two men are understood to be supporters of Lazio's cross-town rivals, AS Roma.

The attack left seven people injured, including an American and a Bangladeshi, and the pub in tatters, with its windows broken, and chairs and tables overturned.

Police named other injured British fans as Dave Lesley, Stephen Tierney and Christopher Allen.

The group of attackers covered their faces with motorbike helmets and scarves and were armed with knives, baseball bats and knuckle dusters when they stormed The Drunken Ship pub late on Wednesday night, according to police.

Mr Mills remains in hospital in Rome. The 25-year-old builder from Brentwood, Essex, has spoken of the attack, and said: "There was a good atmosphere in the bar. Everyone from back home having a few drinks, we were having fun. And then the atmosphere changed really quickly.

"I was standing outside the bar drinking, and the next thing I know there are loads of them. It happened very quickly, I don't remember much. I remember being pulled out, along the ground, after I had been stabbed.

"I am not scared now, I was scared at the time."

Mr Mills received head wounds when he was beaten and a knife wound to the top of his right thigh, causing prolonged bleeding from his femoral artery.

The next thing he remembers is waking up at Rome's San Camillo hospital, where his groin wound, considered life-threatening by doctors, was operated on, while his head wound was treated with stitches.

A statement issued by the hospital said Mr Mills remained in a serious condition and would be kept under observation "for a few days".

He has been cheered up by three friends who have travelled to Rome to see him.

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