UPDATE: Darius Henderson trial jury discharged

Darius Henderson

Darius Henderson - Credit: John O'Reilly/South Beds News Ag

A JURY has failed to reach a verdict in the trial of Championship footballer Darius Henderson who was accused of assaulting a man in a St Albans restaurant, when New Year celebrations turned sour.

At St Albans Crown Court yesterday (Thursday) the jury was discharged after five and a half hours of deliberation.

The 31 year old Nottingham Forest striker from Markyate will now have to wait two weeks to find out if the prosecution will seek a retrial.

During the four day hearing the court was told that on New Year’s Eve 2011, the footballer and his then girlfriend Lucy Caplan had gone to Darcys Restaurant, Hatfield Road, for a celebratory dinner and party night.

The evening passed without incident until the early hours when Hazel Kent, 48, approached the footballer and Miss Caplan, claiming she and Mr Henderson had recently had sex.

The court was told the accusations were untrue, but it led to Miss Caplan leaving the restaurant.

The prosecution claimed that when diner John Bell, 41, approached Mr Henderson to try and calm the situation, the footballer punched him to the ground, breaking his cheekbone.

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CCTV footage of the moment Mr Henderson threw the punch was shown in court.

Mr Henderson, who denied a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm, said in the witness box he had been acting in self defence because he thought Mr Bell was about to attack him.

At the time of the incident he was playing for Millwall.