May 3, 2000

Boycott loses appeal over assault conviction

Geoffrey Boycott has lost his appeal to overturn an assault conviction. It brings to an end a long-running saga, four years after the alleged assault. Mr. Boycott was convicted in 1998, after the court heard he had assaulted former partner Margaret Moore in a hotel-room incident. The court was told Boycott punched Ms. Moore 20 times in the face, whilst Boycott continues to protest his innocence. The 59 year old England batsman turned commentator was told by judges, "The court confirms the previous verdict ... you remain guilty of the crimes with which you were charged."

Mr. Boycott, dressed in a green suit, told reporters outside the court he was innocent. "I nver hit her. I've never hit anyone in 40 years of public life. I came here for my honour." He lamented the French legal system, saying he had been to France only three times, and was not likely to return.

Both Mr. Boycott and Ms. Moore expressed a desire to get on with their lives. Ms. Moore, 48 posed for the waiting cameras before going into court, afterwards saying, "I have just told the truth all the way through."

Mr. Boycott, who was allowed to speak in court, quoted Shakespeare. "Mine honour is mine life, take away mine honour and my life is gone." The proceeding are thought to have cost Mr. Boycott up to £500,000 in costs.