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By ESPN Staff

United youngster Morrison fined

Manchester United youngster Ravel Morrison has been fined £600 by a court for throwing his girlfriend's mobile phone out of a window in a row after she read his text messages.

Morrison, 18, admitted a single charge of criminal damage to the phone but denied assault by beating his girlfriend, Reah Dixon.

A not guilty plea was entered on the assault count which was accepted by the prosecution at Salford Magistrates Court.

Morrison, wearing a black jumper, white shirt, dark trousers and a red and white tie, spoke only to confirm his name and address during the brief hearing.

The youngster, who gave his address as Urmston, Greater Manchester, is highly regarded at Old Trafford, where he is reportedly compared to the likes of Wayne Rooney.

As well as representing England at under-18 level, he has appeared for the United first team in the Carling Cup this season and scored twice in his club's victory in the FA Youth Cup final second leg against Sheffield United on Monday.

Morrison already has one caution for common assault dating from 2008 and an incident described as a "domestic assault'' in 2009 where his girlfriend did not want to press charges, the court heard.

He is also the subject of a 12-month referral order imposed in January, and must report to probation and the Youth Offending Team in Trafford.

Today Tina Cunnane, prosecuting, told the court on April 19 this year the defendant and Miss Dixon, aged 17, were at her parents' home when the incident happened.

"During the evening Reah looked at the defendants' mobile telephone.

"She became angry as a result of reading a text message and threw his telephone across the room.

"In retaliation the defendant threw her telephone across the room.

"He accepts it was retaliation, and her telephone went out of an open window. This had not been the intention of the defendant.

"They then argued but the defendant denies any physical assault on Reah.''

The £150 mobile phone was destroyed and has been replaced by Morrison, the prosecutor added.

David Fish QC, prosecuting, told the court the defendant and victim had been together for three years and were still "very much a couple'' with a two-week holiday booked in June.

He produced a "positive'' report from probation officers in Trafford which described Morrison as, "helpful and willing to learn''.

Mr Fish said no violence had been used against the young woman and suggested to District Judge Jonathan Finestein, the matter could be dealt with by way of a fine.

"As I think you are aware, he is a professional footballer,'' Mr Fish added.

"Can I hand in his contract? I would rather not deal with these matters publicly unless I have to.''

Morrison's earnings were not given in open court, however after Judge Finestein looked at the contract he said as fines now had to be related to a defendant's income, this would make for a "rather expensive'' penalty for such a minor matter.

Morrison was fined £600 and ordered to pay £85 costs with a £15 victim impact surcharge.

Judge Finestein added: "You are somebody with a considerable future and you must at all times know that losing your temper, no matter what the provocation, is not acceptable.''

Morrison left court without comment.

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