UK footballers jailed in rape probe

Keith Gillespie, Paul Dickov and Frank Sinclair of the Leicester City football team each face a charge of “sexual aggression with penetration, which would mean rape”, according to a British official.

They were remanded in custody yesterday by an investigating judge, Cartagena court officials said.

The three also face charges of forced entry.

A group of men are accused of barging into a room at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the upmarket La Manga sports resort and attacking the women, leaving them with multiple injuries.

A number of other Leicester City players who were also arrested over the allegations arrived back in the UK last night after being released by the Spanish court.

Among them were club captain Matt Elliott, Frenchman Lilian Nalis and James Scowcroft.

All three have been released, with Scowcroft ordered to pay 20,000 euros ($A32,586) bail and attend a Spanish consulate twice a month.

A further two players, Nikos Dabizas and Danny Coyne, were “provisionally released” following a hearing on Thursday, and a ninth player, Steffen Freund, was released earlier without charge.

Leicester City manager Micky Adams refused to speak to waiting reporters at Luton Airport last night as his players were ushered by police into a waiting minibus.

The struggling Premiership club had flown its players to Spain for a warm weather break as they prepared to battle against possible relegation from the Barclaycard Premiership.

The incident has thrown the club into crisis with the prospect of having to play crucial matches without some key players and has further mired the reputation of English football in sleaze and scandal.

It is believed the players were remanded after they took part in an identification process involving the alleged victims.

Gillespie, Dickov and Sinclair could be jailed for up to 12 years if convicted of the alleged offences.

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