Cantona victim strikes back


MATTHEW SIMMONS, the Crystal Palace fan who was assaulted by Manchester United striker Eric Cantona, attacked the prosecutor after being found guilty in London yesterday on two charges of using threatening words and behaviour.

Seconds after the verdict was announced 21 year old Simmons suddenly launched himself over the bench in front of him and kicked and grabbed prosecutor Jeffrey McCann. The prosecutor (55), who was dealing with his last case before retirement, tried desperately to get away, looking terrified and managed to pull free. Court staff ran forward and Simmons was led away in handcuffs.

During the attack on the prosecutor Simmons was heard to shout I am innocent, I swear on the Bible." Then he added. You press, you are scum.

The court resumed later and Adam Davis, defending Simmons, said. He would like to apologise to the court and to the members of the public and especially to Mr McCann. This certainly does not excuse his behaviour."

However, Simmons was jailed for seven days for the attack. The court also ordered Simmons to pay a £500 fine as well as £200 in legal costs. He was also banned from English soccer grounds for a year.

Simmons had tainted Cantona with insults before the incident in January 1995, provoking the infamous Kung Fu kick by the French player.

The prosecution had told the court that Simmons had used phrases like. "You are a f .... animal" and "You are a f .... French bastard" and "You f .... French w ..... off back to France ...."