Barton out of jail after bail is granted
Footballer Joey Barton has been released from jail after being bailed by a judge. The 25-year-old Newcastle United and England midfielder made no comment as he passed through the gates of Liverpool Prison into a waiting car. Barton, of Widnes, Cheshire, had been in prison since he was charged with assault and affray last Friday. He, his brother and a friend, were arrested in Liverpool city centre in the early hours of Thursday morning following a complaint to police by city centre CCTV operators. It is alleged the group were involved in two incidents following a confrontation at a McDonalds restaurant in Church Street, Liverpool, at 5.30am. Barton was twice refused bail by Liverpool magistrates but Judge David Swift, sitting in chambers at Liverpool Crown Court, agreed bail earlier this afternoon. Barton's solicitor Daniel Weed said: 'Mr Joseph Barton has been granted bail with conditions until he appears at Liverpool Magistrates' Court on January 16.' Bail conditions were not revealed. Barton, wearing the black jumper he was arrested in, a grey top and jeans, left prison at 6pm. He climbed into a silver Audi A5 and sat in the rear with Mr Weed. At the wheel was Peter Kay, chief executive of the Sporting Chance clinic in Hampshire, who offered bail accommodation and supervision to the footballer at an earlier hearing. Members of Barton's family were also outside in cars along with some members of the public. One man showed off a mobile phone picture which appeared to show a shirtless Barton in the jail's gymnasium with his arm around a fellow inmate. The man refused to identify himself or the other prisoner, who he said was a friend on remand. He claimed to have been told during a visit that Barton had been a regular at the gym where he led circuit training sessions. Barton, who is charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray, will next appear at Liverpool Magistrates' Court on January 16. The court also decided that a charge of criminal damage against Barton, following an incident in a taxi in March 2005, will also be heard that day. He will appear with Andrew Barton, 19, of Widnes, Cheshire, who is charged with actual bodily harm and affray, and Nadine Wilson, 27, from Huyton, Merseyside, who is charged with common assault and affray.