Newcastle's Barton pleads not guilty

Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton has pleaded not guilty to attacking former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo in a training ground bust-up.

Barton, 24, appeared at Trafford Magistrates' Court to face one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

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The England midfielder "strenuously denied" the allegation he attacked Dabo during a Manchester City training session.

Liverpool-born Barton was arrested after the incident at City's Carrington training ground on May 1.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail if he is found guilty.

Barton was suspended by City after the incident, and sold to Newcastle in June in a £5.8 million deal.

He is now out of action for the north-east club after fracturing a metatarsal in his left foot during a pre-season friendly last month.

Barton was given unconditional bail and ordered to appear back at Trafford Magistrates' Court in Manchester on October 4 at 9.30am.

Prosecuting, David Alcock described the incident as a "vicious attack".

Barton, who was using crutches, spoke to confirm his name and address and to enter a plea. The brief hearing lasted 10 minutes.

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