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FOOTBALL

AS Roma fan jailed for attacking Liverpool supporter

An Italian football fan was jailed for three-and-a-half years on Thursday after admitting assaulting a Liverpool supporter before a Champions League game, leaving the victim with catastrophic head injuries.

AS Roma fan jailed for attacking Liverpool supporter
Liverpool and Roma fans at the match in April 2018 before which Sean Cox was attacked. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP

Simone Mastrelli, 30, from Rome, pleaded guilty to unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on Sean Cox outside Liverpool's Anfield Stadium on April 24th, before their match with Italian side Roma.

Irish national Cox suffered a severe, traumatic brain injury as a result of the attack and is still recovering after spending four-and-a-half weeks at a specialist neurological unit.

Mastrelli knocked Cox unconscious with a single heavy blow to the face, as he led a group of 'ultras', some of whom were carrying belts in their hands as weapons.

READ ALSO: Roma donates €150,000 to Liverpool supporter beaten up by their fans


Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP

Cox's daughter Shauna, 20, read out a statement as Mastrelli watched on at Preston Crown Court in northwest England.

“Before this brutal and vicious attack my dad was a fit and confident man, a man of integrity with a huge passion for life who represented everything which is good,” she said. “This violent and unprovoked attack left dad in a dire situation.

“His future is uncertain. We don't know how he will progress and that really frightens us.”

Mastrelli was arrested in Italy last month on a European arrest warrant before being extradited to Britain.

READ ALSO: 

Judge Mark Brown, told Mastrelli that “there is no doubt in my mind that you went to the stadium as a group to sort out the Liverpool supporters and in doing so you have destroyed the life of an innocent man and his family.

“This was, on any view, a dreadful offence. It has had a profound impact on Mr Cox and his family.”

Another Roma fan, Filippo Lombardi, 21, was last year jailed for three years for violent disorder over the incident. A third fan, Daniele Sciusco, 29, also admitted violent disorder and was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Sporadic trouble broke out in Liverpool city centre before the match as more than 50,000 fans made their way to Anfield, including around 5,000 Roma fans.

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BOLOGNA

Italy’s president calls for ‘full truth’ on anniversary of Bologna bombing

President Sergio Mattarella said on Tuesday it was the state's duty to shed more light on the 1980 bombing of Bologna's train station, on the 42nd anniversary of the attack that killed 85 people and injured 200.

Italy's president calls for 'full truth' on anniversary of Bologna bombing

On August 2nd 1980, a bomb exploded in the railway station’s waiting room, causing devastation on an unprecedented scale.

Five members of terrorist groups were later convicted in relation to the bombing, the worst episode in Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ period of political violence in the 1970s and 80s.

Most recently, in 2020, a former member of the far-right Armed Revolutionary Nucleus (NAR) was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to those who carried out the attack.

But suspicions remain of cover-ups and the involvement of “deviant elements” within the nation’s security services, reported Italian news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Bologna massacre: 40 years on, questions remain over Italy’s deadliest postwar terror attack

“The bomb that killed people who happened to be at the station on that morning 42 years ago still reverberates with violence in the depths of the country’s conscience,” Mattarella said in a speech marking the anniversary on Tuesday.

“It was the act of cowardly men of unequalled inhumanity, one of the most terrible of the history of the Italian Republic.

A train compartment at Bologna station pictured following the 1980 bombing attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari.

“It was a terrorist attack that sought to destabilise democratic institutions and sow fear, hitting ordinary citizens going about their everyday tasks.

“On the day of the anniversary our thoughts go, above all, to the relatives forced to suffer the greatest pain.

“The neo-fascist nature of the massacre has been established in court and further steps have been made to unveil the cover-ups and those who ordered the attack in order to comply with the Republic’s duty to seek the full truth”.

The bombing remains Western Europe’s fourth deadliest postwar terror attack, and one of the most devastating in Italy’s history.

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