Trespassing England fan goes free

CAPE TOWN - A fan who walked into the England team dressing room after a World Cup match will not face a criminal trial after he agreed to pay a fine, a South African Court ruled on Wednesday.

Pavlos Joseph, 32, was arrested for entering the England changing room following the side's disappointing goalless draw against Algeria on June 18.

His lawyer Craig Webster told Cape Town Magistrates' Court that prosecutors had dropped further charges against Joseph after he paid a 750 rand ($98) fine for trespassing.

Last week Joseph's defence team made representations to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to drop the case.

"The representations were successful," Webster told Magistrate Grant Engel.

The incident sparked concern about lax security during Africa's first hosting of the month-long tournament. South African police have now charged a British tabloid journalist with helping Joseph gain access to the dressing room.

Police accuse the journalist, Simon Wright, from the Sunday Mirror tabloid of orchestrating the incident. The newspaper has denied its reporter was guilty of any wrongdoing.

On Wednesday, Wright, wearing a blue blazer and white shirt, appeared immediately after Joseph's case was dealt with in a special World Cup court.

William Booth, Wright's lawyer, said he would also ask the prosecution to drop the case. Wright is charged with attempting to "defeat the ends of justice".

"My client feels there is no basis (for the criminal case)," Booth said.

The case against Wright, who had to surrender his passport and has to report to Cape Town police station every day, was adjourned to July 7. His bail of 3,000 rand ($393.3) was extended.

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