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Champion boxer Eamonn Magee wins appeal over attack conviction

Former world boxing champion Eamonn Magee has won his appeal against being convicted and jailed for head-butting a man in Belfast.

The case against Magee (38) ended after it was revealed that the alleged victim has withdrawn his complaint against him.

He had been sentenced to three months in prison following the original conviction for assault outside a GAA social club in the north of the city.

But a judge at Belfast County Court allowed his appeal after being told the prosecution was left with no evidence to call.

The ex-WBU welterweight title holder, of Eskdale Gardens, Belfast, was found guilty last month of head-butting Kevin McLaughlin in August 2009.

Magistrates had heard the alleged victim was left stunned and suffered a bloodied nose after asking Magee to leave the Ardoyne Kickhams club.

The boxer, known as ‘The Terminator’ during a professional career which included 33 fights, contested the charge against him.

He claimed instead to have been attacked by up to 15 people following a confrontation at the club from which he was barred.

According to the boxer, he touched Mr McLaughlin's nose with his head after being pushed three times.

As Magee's appeal was due to get under way yesterday the court was told Mr McLaughlin was withdrawing his complaint and wanted no further action taken against him.

Prosecutors applied for an order to have him brought to the hearing. But Judge Denise Kennedy said: “I'm very doubtful whether a bench warrant is the appropriate way of dealing with an injured party who has indicated they are not prepared to give evidence.”

When told by the prosecution that there was no other available evidence, Judge Kennedy then ruled: “In the circumstances I will allow the appeal.”

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