Roma fan ‘lashed out’ at Liverpool fan

Sean CoxImage copyright Family handout
Image caption An earlier court hearing was told Sean Cox was out of the coma

An Italian football fan lashed out at a Liverpool supporter during a joint attack before a Champions League semi-final, a court has heard.

Filippo Lombardi, 21, denies wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm on Sean Cox, 53, who was assaulted outside Anfield in April.

Mr Cox was “knocked unconscious and seriously injured” by a blow struck by another man, Preston Crown Court heard.

He was left in a coma before the first leg of the Liverpool and Roma match.

An earlier court hearing was told the father-of-three from Dunboyne, Co Meath, Ireland, was out of the coma, but his condition remained “very dire”.

Opening the trial Neville Biddle, prosecuting, said: “Before the match, a Liverpool supporter, Sean Cox, a middle-aged family man from Dublin, who was a lifelong Liverpool supporter and who had come to Liverpool with his older brother Martin, was assaulted and knocked unconscious and seriously injured.”

He added: “It’s the Crown’s case that two men were involved in the assault on Sean Cox – this defendant and another.

“It was the other man that struck the blow that felled Sean Cox and rendered him unconscious.”

He said it was “a joint attack” with the two men “acting together and therefore equally responsible for the injuries inflicted”.

The court was told a second man had been arrested in Rome and was awaiting extradition.

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