Former Wigan Athletic striker Marlon King has been released from prison today after serving 9 months of his 18 month sentence that he was given following his trial and subsequent guilty verdict for sexual assault and actual bodily harm against a 20 year old woman in a London night club.
The incident occurred in December 2008 when King was on loan from the Latics to Hull City and it seemed that the club was unaware of his impending trial and seriousness of the charge when last season began and club chairman Dave Whelan was clearly shocked at the time and said that he felt `let down` by King and `doubted that he would have any future in the game`.
Dave Whelan took the decision to sack King from his contract with the Latics using `gross misconduct` as the reason back in October last year, speaking to the press today though Whelan looks to have softened his stance slightly and he now says that he forgives the former Watford man and hopes that the woman he offended can forgive him to.
Whelan said: ‘Marlon’s coming out today, he’s served his sentence, I’m sure he’s learned a lot and I forgive him and I wish him well if he gets back into the game.
‘A lot of people commit crimes and go to prison and what they say is they’ve served a sentence and they’ve paid the penalty. It would be wrong of me to say ‘no, he should never play football again’.
‘I was very upset at the time, but I really think you’ve got to forgive people because we all make mistakes and if he can get back into the game, good luck to him.
‘I think it would be wrong to punish Marlon now – I have forgiven him and I hope the young lady who he offended has forgiven him.
‘It wouldn’t bother me if he came to play against us. But he’ll never play for Wigan, I’ll say that.’
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