Rome - An Italian football fan pleaded guilty on Thursday to assaulting a
Liverpool supporter before last year's Champions League tie between Roma
and Liverpool, leaving the victim with catastrophic head injuries.
Simone Mastrelli, 30, from Rome, entered a guilty plea to unlawfully
and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on Sean Cox, during a
hearing at Preston Crown Court in north west England, with the victim's
wife looking on.
Irish national Cox suffered a severe, traumatic brain injury as a
result of the attack outside Liverpool's Anfield Stadium on April 24,
and is still recovering after spending four-and-a-half weeks at a
specialist neurological unit.
Mastrelli was arrested in Italy last month on a European Arrest Warrant before being extradited to Britain.
Another Roma fan, Filippo Lombardi, 21, was last year jailed for three years for violent disorder over the incident.
A third fan, Daniele Sciusco, 29, also admitted violent disorder and was jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Sporadic trouble broke out in Liverpool city centre before the match
as more than 50,000 fans made their way to Anfield, including around
5,000 Roma fans.