AMIDST the predictable whinging and whining about Steven Gerrard's acquittal, I heard some top quality bullshit spouted about Michael Shields.
That was that Scousers are just fighting for him to be freed because he's from Liverpool - and we don't actually have any reasons to justify that fight.
So ignoring the bigotry, for the record, how about:
* Key to the evidence against him are the statements of Bulgarian witnesses who identified him in a identity parade.
* Many of these witnesses had seen Michael in a police car at the scene after he was taken by police from his hotel room, told to wear a white t-shirt (not his), and was left sat in the car for 30 minutes.
* Several of the witnesses also saw Michael chained to a radiator in a public area of the police station before he had even been charged. He was there for 16 hours.
* Michael's picture appeared in Bulgarian newspapers before the identity parade, which was carried out with no defence lawyer present and with non-suspects who did not resemble Michael in any way.
* Michael's hair was forcibly shaved by police for the court case.
* Michael has taken, and passed, a lie detector test.
* An eye witness to the attack has given a statement to the Bulgarian courts to say it was not Michael who attacked the Bulgarian waiter.
* Eyewitness Mr. A recalls in his sworn statement:"It was only when I saw the photograph of Michael Shields that I realised the police had arrested the wrong man. I was able to see Michael was a big lad and had blond hair. The lad in the white T-shirt who dropped the brick was short and dark."
* The police investigation concluded that Mr. A was "truthful in providing this account" and that he was an honest and independent witness who had befriended the victim, Martin Georgiev, only hours before the attack.
* A hotel porter gave evidence saying that Michael returned to his hotel hours before the attack.
* The former head of Nottinghamshire Police's Serious Crime Squad, Peter Coles, looked at the case and dismissed the evidence against Shields as "not worth the paper it's written on".
* There is no forensic evidence.
* Another man, Graham Sankey, has admitted he attacked the waiter and made a signed confession, which was later withdrawn.
Meanwhile, Michael's family have been subjected to crank calls, threats to kidnap their daughters and their car was petrol bombed.
Still funny? Still think Scousers are fighting for him to be released because we're 'playing the victim?'
Free Michael Shields.