Simone Mastrelli assaulted and caused serious body harm to Sean Cox before the Liverpool-Roma match in England in April 2018.

The supporter of AS Roma, Simone Mastrelli, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for assaulting and severely wounding a Liverpool supporter in April 2018, before the Champions League semi-final in England. Mastrelli knocked Mr. Cox unconscious with a single blow to the face.

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“There is no doubt in my mind that you went as a group to the stadium to take care of Liverpool fans and that in doing so you destroyed the life of an innocent man and his family,” said Judge Mark Brown rendering his decision in the court of Preston, in north-west England. Simone Mastrelli, 30, from Rome, pleaded guilty to assault causing Sean Cox serious harm, at the trial, while the victim’s wife and daughter were watching.

Sean Cox, a 53-year-old Irishman, suffered a serious head injury after being assaulted near the Anfield stadium in Liverpool on 24 April 2018 and is still recovering after spending four and a half weeks in a specialized neurological unit. After the result in Rome which secured their passage to the final, Liverpool players paid tribute to Cox on the pitch as they celebrated.

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In court, her 20-year-old daughter, Shauna Cox, read a statement in front of the abuser. “Before this brutal and vicious attack, my father was a fit and self-confident man, a man of integrity with a great passion for life.This violent and unjustified aggression left my father in a hopeless situation. We do not know how it will evolve and it really scares us. Targeted by a European Arrest Warrant, Simone Mastrelli was arrested in Italy in January before being extradited to England.

Another Roma fan, 21-year-old Filippo Lombardi, was sentenced in October to three years’ imprisonment for disturbing public order in connection with the incident, but was cleared of his involvement in the assault on Sean Cox. A third, 29-year-old Daniele Sciusco, also admitted the violent disturbance to public order and was sentenced to two and a half years of imprisonment.

Image Credit: The Times

Sporadic incidents had erupted in Liverpool’s city center before the Champions League semi-final between the English club and Roma (won by the Reds 5-2), as more than 50,000 supporters came to the stadium, including nearly of 5,000 Roman supporters. In November, Roma announced that they would pay 150,000 euro to the family of Sean Cox.

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