Liverpool’s talismanic captain Steven Gerrard assaulted a businessman outside a bar when he “threw the first punch”, a court has heard.An altercation was partly captured on CCTV footage from a nearby bank obtained by an off-duty policewoman, said to be used as “a tool for blackmail”.
Aged 35 Paul Lloyd, told Preston Crown Court that he was handed a DVD which according to him shows Gerrard and and 11 other attacking him in Formby, Merseyside on August 4th last year.
His account was labelled as ‘nonsense’ by a prosecutor who said that Steven Gerrard was only there to defuse the situation.
Following his testimonial in August 2013 against Olympiakos, Gerrard and friends partied in Liverpool, but a row with another group spilled out onto the street.
Gerrard acted as mediator, but began to receive direct threats and demands from Paul Lloyd, a man involved in the argument.
Lloyd’s threats were based on CCTV footage he obtained through illegal means. Police officer Helen Jones flashed her warrant card at the Bank that held the CCTV footage, acquiring the tape, which then ended up in the hands of Lloyd and newspapers.
The blackmail charge against Jones was dropped, but she admitted misconduct, although she claimed that she took the tape out of concern for someone she believed to have been assaulted by a well-known individual.
Asked what was on the footage Mr Lloyd said: “It showed me on my own assaulted by 12 people and Steven Gerrard being aggressive and throwing the first punch, and all his friends thought it was right for me to be kicked and punched for four minutes.”
He said after viewing the footage he met up with Lee McPartland, a friend of Gerrard, and an offer to pay him money was made.
Mr Lloyd said; “Mr McPartland requested to smooth it over and buy me a drink. He said ‘I will get your money off Steven now. Let’s put this to bed’.
“I was not wanting money.”
In December he issued civil proceedings in relation to the incident against Gerrard, his wife Alex, and Mr McPartland.
In the same month he was arrested by police on suspicion of blackmail but he told the court he was released with no further action.