The trial of a 21-year-old Italian man charged in connection with the serious assault on Dunboyne man Sean Cox before a Champions League match at Anfield last April began at Preston Crown Court today.
Filippo Lombardi from Rome has pleaded not guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm to Mr Cox, but has admitted a charge of violent disorder.
Mr Cox's wife Martina and family members are in court for the proceedings.
Liverpool supporter Sean Cox (53) was assaulted outside the club's grounds at Anfield before the Champions League semi-final between Liverpool FC and Roma on 24th April
In his opening statement, prosecuting counsel Neville Biddle said the prosecution will contend this was a joint attack by two men – Mr Lombardi and another man referred to in court as "N40".
The other man struck the blow which rendered Mr Cox unconscious, but Mr Biddle said the prosecution will contend that this was a joint attack by the two, who were acting together and therefore equally responsible for the attack.
Defence counsel Alison Gurden told the court that Lombardi accepts that his behaviour on that day was unacceptable and he has pleaded guilty to another charge of violent disorder.
Ms Gurden said there was no dispute that Mr Cox had suffered catastrophic injuries and he suffered those injuries due to the fact that he was punched.
Howver, she said Lombardi did not deliver that punch.
Mr Cox, spent over a month at the Walton Centre in Liverpoolk before being transferred to Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, at the end of May. A week ago he was moved to the National Rehabilitation Hospital to begin 12 weeks of intensive rehab.
The trial is expected to last into next week.