London: An English court on Thursday cleared West Ham United midfielder Ravel Morrison of charges of assaulting his former girlfriend and her mother.
The 21-year-old was accused of hitting Reah Mansoor, 19, and her mother, Parveen Mansoor, 39, after an evening at a nightclub in his home city of Manchester on July 24. Morrison was to stand trial at Manchester Crown Court this month but the charges were dropped by the prosecution on Thursday and the player, who was not in court, was found not guilty.
Prosecutor Guy Mathieson said the charges had been withdrawn after closed circuit television footage of the first alleged assault outside the One Central nightclub in Manchester had been unearthed by Morrison's defence team. It showed Morrison had not hit Reah Mansoor, as had been alleged, and that she had in fact slumped to the floor on her own, he said.
The former girlfriend also withdrew a statement alleging Morrison assaulted her outside her home when he dropped her off and there was "reluctance" from her mother to proceed with the alleged assault on her. All three assault charges were withdrawn. "When reviewing the CCTV footage, it's clear there's a gap she doesn't remember between those two statements," Mathieson told the court.
"She's seen falling, or slumping to the ground, remaining there for a minute or two before, quite clearly, the defendant and her friend come to her assistance, trying to get her to stand up. "And it is right, thereafter, the Porsche Panamera, the defendant's car, is seen to come, she's put, bundled or half-carried into the car and she's then taken home. "It's quite clear from that CCTV footage there's no assault at that stage.
"The Crown have to accept there's a gap in the evidence and the Crown is in the position where they have to reconsider the prospect of a conviction and offer no evidence in respect of count one." In November, Morrison was cleared of threatening to throw acid in the face of Reah Mansoor and have her killed as part of a four-year campaign of harassment.
Morrison is back at Premier League club West Ham following a spell on loan to Cardiff. He has been linked with a move from the London team to Italian side Lazio. Regarded as one of the brightest young talents in English football while at Manchester United, Morrison appeared for the first team in the League Cup before he was sold to West Ham for Â£650,000 ($1.03 million, 829.472 euros) in January 2012. Hammers boss Sam Allardyce later sent Morrison out on to both Birmingham and Queens Park Rangers.