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Man (30) jailed for three-and-a-half years for assaulting Irish Liverpool fan Seán Cox

Simone Mastrelli (30) was charged with two counts in connection with the assault of Seán Cox.

Image: Merseyside Police

Updated Feb 28th 2019, 3:08 PM

A MAN HAS been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for assaulting Irishman Seán Cox in Liverpool last year.

Cox, a 53-year-old father-of-three from Co Meath, sustained life-changing injuries in the incident.

The incident happened outside Anfield stadium ahead of the Champions League match between Liverpool FC and AS Roma on 24 April 2018.

Simone Mastrelli (30) was arrested in Rome on suspicion of assault and extradited to England in January, and was charged in relation to the assault.

Today at Preston Crown Court, Mastrelli pleaded guilty to unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm to Cox.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge of violent disorder, which was accepted by the prosecution.

He was sentenced today to three-and-a-half years in prison.

“Completely unprovoked” 

Commenting today following the sentencing, Detective Inspector Paul Speight with Merseyside Police said:

“The shocking and completely unprovoked assault of Sean Cox was rightly met with disgust and abhorrence by people in Merseyside and across the world.

“As a passionate Liverpool fan, Sean had travelled to the city to enjoy the occasion of a Champions League match. But before he had even had opportunity to enter the stadium, Sean was brutally attacked by Simone Mastrelli.

“Instead of watching his favourite team, Sean ended the evening in a critical condition in hospital and has spent the past 10 months receiving round-the-clock care.

His long road to a full recovery continues and he will carry the physical and emotional scars of that night for the rest of his life.

Speight said that football fans should be able to “attend matches without fear of being subjected to such a vicious attack”. 

“I hope today’s sentencing sends a clear message that anyone who seeks to bring violence to a sporting event will face the full force of the law,” he said. 

“The fact that Mastrelli left the country after the assault in a failed bid to evade justice has only prolonged the anguish for his Sean and his family.

I hope the fact he was arrested shows we and colleagues around the world will not be deterred from the pursuit of justice.

The impact this incident has had on Sean and his family cannot be underestimated and I hope that the jailing of Mastrelli today, together with the outpouring of support the family have received, provides them with some comfort as they continue to adjust to lives that have been forever changed by the events of that night.

He said finally:

I want to take this opportunity to thank the team of detectives who investigated the attack, as well as the authorities in Italy who assisted the apprehension and extradition of Mastrelli so he could face justice today.    

Two other Italian men have already been sentenced in relation to the incident. 

Daniel Sciusco (29) was jailed for two-and-a-half years for violent disorder in August of last year, and Filippo Lombardi (21) was jailed for three years for violent disorder in October.

The judge said in court today that Merseyside Police have done a “tremendous job” in bringing those involved in the case to justice. 

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings. 

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