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AS Roma fan jailed for attacking Liverpool supporter

An Italian football fan was jailed for three-and-a-half years on Thursday after admitting assaulting a Liverpool supporter before a Champions League game, leaving the victim with catastrophic head injuries.

AS Roma fan jailed for attacking Liverpool supporter
Liverpool and Roma fans at the match in April 2018 before which Sean Cox was attacked. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP

Simone Mastrelli, 30, from Rome, pleaded guilty to unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on Sean Cox outside Liverpool's Anfield Stadium on April 24th, before their match with Italian side Roma.

Irish national Cox suffered a severe, traumatic brain injury as a result of the attack and is still recovering after spending four-and-a-half weeks at a specialist neurological unit.

Mastrelli knocked Cox unconscious with a single heavy blow to the face, as he led a group of 'ultras', some of whom were carrying belts in their hands as weapons.

READ ALSO: Roma donates €150,000 to Liverpool supporter beaten up by their fans


Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP

Cox's daughter Shauna, 20, read out a statement as Mastrelli watched on at Preston Crown Court in northwest England.

“Before this brutal and vicious attack my dad was a fit and confident man, a man of integrity with a huge passion for life who represented everything which is good,” she said. “This violent and unprovoked attack left dad in a dire situation.

“His future is uncertain. We don't know how he will progress and that really frightens us.”

Mastrelli was arrested in Italy last month on a European arrest warrant before being extradited to Britain.

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Judge Mark Brown, told Mastrelli that “there is no doubt in my mind that you went to the stadium as a group to sort out the Liverpool supporters and in doing so you have destroyed the life of an innocent man and his family.

“This was, on any view, a dreadful offence. It has had a profound impact on Mr Cox and his family.”

Another Roma fan, Filippo Lombardi, 21, was last year jailed for three years for violent disorder over the incident. A third fan, Daniele Sciusco, 29, also admitted violent disorder and was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Sporadic trouble broke out in Liverpool city centre before the match as more than 50,000 fans made their way to Anfield, including around 5,000 Roma fans.

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CRIME

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

Prosecutors in New York on Tuesday returned dozens of antiquities stolen from Italy and valued at around $19 million, some of which were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

“These 58 pieces represent thousands of years of rich history, yet traffickers throughout Italy utilized looters to steal these items and to line their own pockets,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, noting that it was the third such repatriation in nine months.

“For far too long, they have sat in museums, homes, and galleries that had no rightful claim to their ownership,” he said at a ceremony attended by Italian diplomats and law enforcement officials.

The stolen items had been sold to Michael Steinhardt, one of the world’s leading collectors of ancient art, the DA’s office said, adding that he had been slapped with a “first-of-its-kind lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities.”

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Among the recovered treasures, which in some cases were sold to “unwitting collectors and museums,” were a marble head of the Greek goddess Athena from 200 B.C.E. and a drinking cup dating back to 470 B.C.E, officials said.

The pieces were stolen at the behest of four men who “all led highly lucrative criminal enterprises – often in competition with one another – where they would use local looters to raid archaeological sites throughout Italy, many of which were insufficiently guarded,” the DA’s office said.

One of them, Pasquale Camera, was “a regional crime boss who organized thefts from museums and churches as early as the 1960s. He then began purchasing stolen artifacts from local looters and sold them to antiquities dealers,” it added.

It said that this year alone, the DA’s office has “returned nearly 300 antiquities valued at over $66 million to 12 countries.”

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