Gerrard Cleared After Brawl But Takes £311,000 In Legal Aid
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has walked away with £311,000 of tax payers’ money given to him in the form legal aid after he was acquitted on affray charges.
The footballer, who earns thousand of pounds a week, was cleared of all charges and had his legal expenses repaid from public funds under legal aid rules.
The row in 2009 led to a bar brawl in Southport Merseyside, leaving Marcus McGee needing four stitches to his head and even lost a tooth.
Gerrard was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, which was dropped and also affray after the incident. A spokesman for Gerrard said:
“Steven’s lawyers applied for the reimbursement of a percentage of costs, which were immediately granted by the judge at the end of the trial.
“They acted on his behalf at all times in the same way as they would for anyone else in the same circumstances and within the rules and regulations laid down in cases such as this.”
Gerrard is one of a number of celebrities who have hired the best and most expensive legal brains in the country and subsequently had their huge legal fees repaid from the tax payers’ wallet.
Legal aid is spiraling out of control and as risen to a costly £2.1 billion in two years and ministers now want to change the rules to restrict the payments made out.
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke will present the new plans to limit the costs paid for lawyers’ fees when their clients are acquitted later this week.
The changes in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill will also stop legal firms having their huge costs paid by tax payers’ money. The new measures will only allow “reasonable” costs to be paid by tax payers funds.
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