Sofia Echo


Liverpool batter Burnley as Michael Shields is given royal treatment

Author: Nick Iliev Date: Sat, Sep 12 2009 12 Comments, 3926 Views
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Liverpool comfortably demolished Premiership newcomers Burnley with a scintillating display at Anfield on September 12 2009.
A Yossi Benayoun hat trick, and a Dirk Kuyt effort wrapped up the victory for the Merseysiders. The Israeli international opened the scoring in the first half before Kuyt scored a second goal before the break, giving Liverpool a comfortable 2-0 cushion at half time.  
Benayoun then scored two more goals in the second half. With Javier Mascherano rested after playing 90 minutes for Argentina in South America, Steven Gerrard was asked to drop back alongside Lucas and provide midfield support.
Michael Shields attended his first Liverpool match after his release from prison, and was invited to the club’s executive lounge.  He was given the royal treatment by the club, meeting and shaking hands with his Red heroes as the fan was made a guest of honour at the game against Burnley.
As part of the welcoming ceremony, Shields met with Steven Gerrard and vice-captain Jamie Carragher.
Shields's royal pardon from secretary of state for justice Jack Straw was highly controversial, but Shields said in an interview that all he wanted to do was get on with his life and go to Anfield.
"I cant wait to step back inside Anfield for the first time in over four and a half years. The thought of going back to the match has kept me going though some horrible times in prisons," Shields said, quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
"I used to have a picture on my prison wall which was the mosaic the Kop held up for me. Their support kept me going. I’ll never be able to thank them enough".
"It’s been the solidarity from the fans, especially the Spirit of Shankly union" he said. He is due to release his book, Michael Shields – My Story.

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    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #12 23, 11, Tue, Sep 15 2009

      "Valeri - can we get past the xenophobic abuse please?"

      Paul, can we get past who's innocent and who'd not? None of us were there.

      Why would any government ask for the extradition for someone who confesses to a crime for 5 minutes, and thereby render the legally sentenced culprit - with witnesses and all - an innocent victim?

      What kind of idiots do you think run our government? (well, they are idiots, but who's are not?) Any lawyer will advise against such a stupid move - to [...]

      Read the full comment mire your case in extradition procedures for someone of who's guilt you have absolutely zero evidence for, and risk getting the guy fingered, slip away??

      Now if they knew that your head of state is in the habit of deciding who's guilty and who'd not, may be they would've risked their case by asking for Sankey...

    • Anonymous
      Paul F Rating:
      #11 11, 57, Tue, Sep 15 2009

      Valeri - can we get past the xenophobic abuse please? Bulgaria has never applied for Sankey's extradition. If it did, especially given what has happened since, I think it would be inconceivable for Britain to block it. Everybody in the Shields campaign would support it, as it would give him the best chance of properly clearing his name once and for all (which the pardon stops short of doing).

      I don't agree with the way that Straw has gone about this - but I do believe Shields is innocent and should not be in prison.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #10 21, 13, Mon, Sep 14 2009

      Paul, if the Brits were interested in justice for a Bulgarian barman, which they most certainly are not, they would've done something about Sankey, before they let Shield go.
      In affect they are telling us that no one will be punished.
      How do you think the BG authorities would get an extradition for Sankey?
      Based on "was heavily rumoured to be the perpetrator long before his confession."?
      No witnesses, no DNA to connect him to the crime.
      Or maybe Straw will make another phone call and sentence Sankey to the [...]

      Read the full comment remaining 11 year? That's how you folks seem to operate over in your gloomy island anyway these days...

    • Anonymous
      Paul F Rating:
      #9 15, 47, Mon, Sep 14 2009

      Sankey was heavily rumoured to be the perpetrator long before his confession. I suspect he may have been caught between two stools - helping get an innocent man out of prison, and avoiding going to prison himself. This would account for the inconsistencies (which may also be explained by how drunk he was - as stated in the confession). If this really was a separate incident - where is the victim? You may or may not be interested to know that Sankey, unlike Shields, has a history of convictions. He was also jailed last year for an offence in the [...]

      Read the full comment UK.

      I understand Bulgarians being unhappy with this. Much coverage has suggested that the Bulgarian legal system is inferior to the UK's (which ignores many high profile miscarriages of justice in the UK) and the manner in which Shields finally secured his release looks highly dubious. However having followed this case closely from the start, I'm pretty convinced that Shields was not the perpetrator, and that therefore Mr Georgiev has never received proper justice. Shields even volunteered to take a polygraph test (which he passed). Whilst such tests are not 100% accurate, why would a knowingly guilty party offer to take one, knowing that passing would not necessarily free him, and that failing would mean the end of his campaign for freedom?

    • Anonymous
      Onlyfacts Rating:
      #8 01, 40, Mon, Sep 14 2009

      If you believe what sankey has said in his statement then you must accept that he is confessing to a separate assault. Sankey claims that he threw a brick at a group of males running toward him. He confirms that be saw the brick hit one of them on the head. This rules him out. Georgiev was knocked unconscious and lying on the ground when his attacker brought a paving slab down onto his defenceless head.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #7 04, 01, Sun, Sep 13 2009

      Get a grip of yourself.
      When I say "the Bulgarians" I am answering to the Bulgarian government question below.
      As far as they are concern he is guilty.

      As far as what you or I think, or even Charlotte, what does it matter since none of us was there.
      What is your argument, besides misunderstanding the conversation?

    • Anonymous to Valeri Sun, Sep 13 2009

      This comment has been hidden by the moderator because it contained квалификации.

    • Anonymous
      valeri Rating:
      #5 01, 03, Sun, Sep 13 2009

      20 people saw him in his room?
      interesting.... do you folks in the UK make it a habit taking naps in hotels with 20 witnesses around?

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #4 00, 58, Sun, Sep 13 2009

      we don't need to do anything. Mr. Shield is your problem now. There is a person walking, talking, probably celebrating his getting off the hook as we speak, that will be killed by him one day.

      The guy is bad news and is just getting started.

    • Anonymous neutral
      #3 00, 37, Sun, Sep 13 2009

      you say that Graham Sankey (The man who admitted the attack on Martin Georgiev) is a "Buddy" of Michael's, when in fact Michael had never met this man before in his life.
      As for there being 20 witnesses to identify Michael, there were just as many to verify his alibi of being in his hotel room at the time.
      The sooner that the people of Bulgaria admit that a complete miscarriage of justice has occurred, the better it will be for ALL the victims in this case.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      #2 22, 40, Sat, Sep 12 2009

      "If there's any controversy then it is instead over the lack of interest the Bulgarian authorities have shown in trying to bring the REAL culprit to justice."

      As far as the Bulgarians are concerned, he is the REAL culprit.
      He was identified by 20 witnesses who were there, including the victim, so do you seriously expect ANY justice system to throw that away if a buddy of the convicted confesses for all 5 minutes and then recants?
      That is the real controversy to your British brain?

    • Anonymous
      Steven Johnson Rating:
      #1 21, 51, Sat, Sep 12 2009

      Re: the comment "Shields's royal pardon from secretary of state for justice Jack Straw was highly controversial". That's not true, is it?

      There was nothing "controversial" about his release. In the last 4 years I've never met anyone who actually believed he was guilty!

      If there's any controversy then it is instead over the lack of interest the Bulgarian authorities have shown in trying to bring the REAL culprit to justice.

      Anyone with even a passing interest in this case will know the name of the real guilty [...]

      Read the full comment person. Why don't the Bulgarian government ask the UK authorities to hand over that person (who has already admitted the terrible crime both verbally and in writing?)

      That's the true controversy!

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