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Judge discharges jury in trial of Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton after 'things get lost in translation' over video link to German courtroom with ex-Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel

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Daily Mail
Daily Mail
 2021-06-08

A jury trying Bristol Rovers' manager Joey Barton over an accusation he assaulted a rival football boss has been discharged by a judge who said things were getting 'lost in translation' over a cross-national video link.

Barton, 38, denies assaulting former Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel, occasioning him actual bodily harm, after a League One match between Barnsley and Fleetwood Town in April 2019.

His trial began on Monday and Mr Stendel began giving evidence today about the alleged incident, over a video link from a courtroom in Hanover, in Germany.

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Bristol Rovers' manager Joey Barton, 38, denies assaulting former Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel. Pictured arriving at Sheffield Crown Court today
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Former Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel 

But, after more than hour of translation difficulties between Sheffield Crown Court and Germany, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told the jury: 'It is just not right to struggle on.'

He told the panel: 'Unfortunately this morning I became increasingly concerned that things are getting lost in translation.

'He is a critical witness in this case. It's not fair to him and not fair to anyone in this case.'

Judge Richardson said it was not anybody's fault that the trial had to be halted, but was a consequence of the extraordinary measures put in place due to the Covid pandemic.

He said a new trial date would be fixed after it could be worked out how to bring Mr Stendel to the UK to give his evidence.

But the judge pointed out that the trial had already been postponed for a year due to Covid and was the oldest case on Sheffield Crown Court's books.

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Joey Barton arriving at Sheffield Crown Court where he is charged with causing actual bodily harm to the then Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel in April 2019

And he said counsel in the trial would look at the legal situation to see if an exception to current travel bans could be made in the 'service of justice'.

Barton, who played for a number of teams including Manchester City, Newcastle United and Burnley and is now Bristol Rovers' manager, sat in the dock listening to proceedings wearing a dark suit, white shirt and navy tie.

He was given unconditional bail and the case was adjourned until Wednesday for a new trial date to be explored.

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