Boycott sentenced to three months suspended (10 November 1998)

10 November 1998

Boycott sentenced to three months suspended


Grasse, France, Nov 10 (AFP) - British cricket legend Geoffrey Boycott was given a three-month suspended jail sentence Tuesday and ordered to pay a 50, 000-franc (9,000-dollar) fine for beating up a former girlfriend.

The 58-year-old former opening batsman, who played 108 tests, captaining England four times, was also fined one franc for damages for assaulting Margaret Moore two years ago during a stay on the French Riviera.

Boycott's French lawyer Jean-Luc Cardona said he would appeal. In an eight-hour hearing last month, prosecutor Anne-Marie Noel called for the court to confirm a three-month suspended prison awarded in January after he was found guilty in his absence of assaulting Moore. Noel accused Boycott of evasion for failing to respond to an initial police summons in January 1997, or to turn up at his first trial because he was away in New Zealand commentating on cricket for the BBC.

She also deplored the "long cocktail of 21 witnesses" produced, 13 of them by Boycott alone, including medical experts and character witnesses. Boycott, who appeared nervous and irritated, told the court that after a row over money with Moore he had decided to quit their hotel in Antibes on the French Riviera.

She threw his socks out the window and was going to do the same with his suit, and when he intervened she fell on the hotel room carpet. "I never hit her, never made her fall," he said. "We stayed in the hotel two more days, in the same bed, and we went home on the same flight."

Dr. Thierry Morhet, who examined Moore, testified that she had a swollen and blacked eye which was completely closed, and a bruise as large as a pigeon's egg on her forehead. Her wrist and index finger were also injured.