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Football: I don't fear prison, says Barton.

JOEY Barton is not afraid of a prison sentence if he is found guilty of assaulting former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo.

The Newcastle and England midfielder is expected to be in court in June on a charge of occasioning actual bodily harm on Dabo - but Barton insists he has done nothing wrong. In an interview for Inside Sport to be broadcast on BBC1 tonight, Barton said: "If you go to prison for defending yourself then, yes, I suppose I'll have to think about it.

"I don't care. It doesn't scare me at all, because I've done nothing wrong.

"I can go home and sleep at night and know I've done what I thought was right. I don't think I'm a bad person. If the incidents I've been involved in had been to anyone other than a Premier League footballer, I don't think they'd even be mentioned.

"It was something that I've seen five, six, seven times since I've been a professional footballer.

"But nobody cares whether I'm innocent or guilty - nobody cares.

I'm already guilty before I've been sat in front of a judge - that's the disappointing thing.

"It's my reputation. It's my fault I've got that reputation, but you shouldn't be slaughtered for trying to make yourself a better person. One day I will get to speak about the full facts."

CAPTION(S):

NO FEARS: Joey Barton.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 3, 2007
Words:229
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