Pub landlord not guilty in Winehouse husband case

Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:07pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - A pub landlord was cleared on Wednesday of taking a 200,000 pound ($394,000) bribe to spare his attackers, one of whom was British soul singer Amy Winehouse's husband, from jail.

The jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London found James King, 36, not guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Winehouse's husband Blake Fielder-Civil and Michael Brown both pleaded guilty to attacking King in London in June, 2006, and to trying to bribe him.

Fielder-Civil, 26, faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced at a later date.

King told the trial that he had been intimidated into withdrawing his statement against Fielder-Civil and Brown by middlemen seeking to broker a deal to buy his silence.

The two middlemen have pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Grammy-winning singer Winehouse, who has been fighting drug addiction and who was rushed to hospital last week after fainting at home, was in court earlier this month to support Fielder-Civil during pre-trial hearings.

The 24-year-old has been in hospital since her collapse, and her father told a newspaper she was suffering from the lung condition emphysema. A publicist has since backtracked, saying she had early signs of what could lead to the condition.


<p>Amy Winehouse (R) leaves the stage with her husband Blake Fielder-Civil during the 2007 Mercury Music Awards at the Grosvenor House hotel in London September 4, 2007. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty</p>