Sachin stalker released by police, no charges laid

Published: Tuesday, July 30, 2002, 21:32 [IST]
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London: Contrary to the expectations of the cricket establishment here, the man who accosted Sachin Tendulkar on the Lord's ground during the first Test, has been released by the police as there was "insufficient evidence to proceed" against him.

Although the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which is responsible for stewarding at the ground, said it was "actively considering" a civil prosecution, the decision to release the offender is bound to raise questions over whether fresh legislation is required to eliminate the problem of pitch invasion, British media reported on Tuesday.

The man, a 24-year old Australian, was arrested for aggravated trespass, but released without charge, as he was not carrying a weapon and made no verbal threat to Tendulkar. "There was deemed to be insufficient evidence to proceed under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act," the 'Times' quoted the police as saying.

The England and Wales Cricket Board had expected charges to follow as five people have been successfully prosecuted in similar circumstances this season. These earlier rulings seemed to confirm the decision taken by the government in 2001 that laws were already in place to deal with culprits.

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