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Newcastle´s Barton denied early release from jail

SoccerNews in English Premier League 10 Jul 2008

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Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton will have to serve up to another month in prison after being denied an early release on Thursday.

Barton, 25, had hoped to be freed early next week after being given an electronic tag forcing him to observe a curfew.

But the England international has been deemed not to fit the right criteria as he is a violent offender and committed his last offence while on bail.

Barton will now miss most of the pre-season while he is held in Manchester's notorious Strangeways jail – home to some of Britain's most violent drug dealers and gangsters.

The footballer pleaded guilty to assault and affray at Liverpool Crown Court after punching a man to the ground and pummelling his victim up to 20 times with his fists in an attack caught on CCTV in the city centre last December.

He was jailed for six months on May 20, but it was thought he would only serve one third, or eight weeks and be released early, around July 15, with an electronic tag to monitor his movements.

But probation and prison officials, in line with Ministry of Justice guidelines, have now ruled Barton was not suitable to be released early with a tag given his past crimes.

The Ministry of Justice would not comment on the terms of the player's release.

However sources confirmed he was denied a tag and must now serve another four weeks in jail.

Barton is also serving a four-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, after a separate conviction for a “ferocious” training ground attack on former Manchester City colleague Ousmane Dabo, which left his victim unconscious and bleeding.

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