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Man jailed for three-and-a-half years for the assault of Liverpool fan Sean Cox

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The Italian has been jailed for three-and-a-half years

The man who assaulted Liverpool fan Sean Cox before the Reds' Champions League clash against Roma has been sentenced to serve three-and-a-half years in prison at Preston Crown Court, after pleading guilty to one charge of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Cox suffered extremely severe head injuries when he was assaulted outside Anfield last April, ahead of watching his side in the semi-final of Europe's biggest club competition - a match Liverpool went onto win dramatically 5-2.

The lifelong Reds fan was rushed to Liverpool's Walton Centre directly after the attack almost a year ago, before being flown to receive specialist care at the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, as it was closer to his home in the nearby County Meath.

The 53-year-old has now started to slowly recover from the horrific ordeal, though he is still unable to sit up and can only manage to communicate via a limited amount of words.

His wife, Natasha said to RTE's Late Late Show: "He has a limited amount of words, very small amount, he can’t sit up."

"He can’t walk so it’s pretty horrendous really still, but he is making progress and it is small steps so we take every step as a positive because that is what we do when you are in this situation."

During the court hearing, Mr Cox's daughter, Shauna, read a personal victim statement.

"Before this brutal and vicious attack my dad was a fit and confident man, a man of integrity with a huge passion for life who represented everything which is good. A mentor, a proud family man with great community spirit," she said.

"This violent and unprovoked attacked left Dad in a dire situation. We don't know how he will progress and that really frightens us."My dad went to watch his beloved team, Liverpool, and he never came home."

30-year-old Simone Mastrelli, who was arrested and extradited last month, also entered a not guilty plea to another charge of violent disorder. The court have accepted this due to their being little public interest in proceeding with that count because of the severity of the other charge.

A GoFundMe page set up by the family of Cox has been supported by the likes of Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher and Roma club president James Pallotta, who is said to have donated €150,000 to the fund.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp also donated €5,000, helping bring the current total to over €1 million.

Get well soon, Sean.