Striker Ranger in the dock again
Nile Ranger will face another trial this year after denying kicking in a door at his flat in Gordon Gardens earlier this month.
Shortly before noon yesterday, Ranger entered his plea at Swindon Magistrates’ Court to the charge of damaging a door and wall at the apartment complex to the value of £2,000.
The case will now come before the same court on July 17 this year, adding another court appearance to his growing list.
The Swindon Town striker, who will be the subject of a disciplinary hearing at the County Ground tomorrow, was released on conditional bail.
He was told he must sleep at his address in Gordon Gardens and report to Gablecross police station every Tuesday and Friday, between 10am and 2pm, until the trial. The 23-year-old was told he would risk a fine or imprisonment if he broke his bail conditions.
Ranger, who was wearing a grey tracksuit, spoke only to confirm his name, his date of birth, his address and plea.
Gordon Hotson, defending Ranger, said the prosecution would rely on the video evidence released over the weekend and three witnesses: Phillip Stevens, Sondella Mason and PC Glen Taylor.
Ranger had handed himself into police at Gablecross Station on Monday afternoon, where he arrested, charged and held in custody.
The former Newcastle United footballer will next appear in court at Liverpool Magistrates’ on May 9 on a charge of criminal damage, before a May 12 hearing at Newport Magistrates’ Court on charges of drink-driving.
He is also scheduled to stand before a court in Newcastle on June 23 on a charge of being drunk and disorderly.
Ranger was initially arrested on suspicion of common assault too, although no charges have been brought against him.
A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: “The decision was taken by Wiltshire Police not to charge Nile Ranger with common assault.
“This was due to not receiving a formal complaint in relation to the incident and therefore no further police action will be taken at this time.”
While Ranger’s future at Gordon Gardens has been confirmed until July at the earliest, his future as a Swindon Town employee is far from certain.
His fate is likely to be decided at a club hearing tomorrow, though many fans have already expressed their hope he is given his marching orders.
Ex-Swindon Town footballer Paul Bodin said it was more important than ever to act as a model professional on and off the pitch in today’s society.
Bodin said: “I’m happy to say, throughout the career I had there (Swindon Town), I never got into any trouble on or off the pitch.
“You have to be squeaky clean on and off the pitch. You have a duty and responsibility to the club.”
Justin Tomlinson, MP for North Swindon, said: “Yet again, he appears to be letting down the trust placed in him by both Swindon Town, the fans and the local community.
“I would be surprised in light of this, whether he could remain at the County Ground.”