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Sterling gets trial date

ESPN staff
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Raheem Sterling will stand trial in May © Getty Images
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Raheem Sterling will stand trial on May 20 over the alleged assault of a woman in Liverpool regardless of his attendance on that date, a court heard.

The 18-year-old is charged with common assault after a 27-year-old woman, known to the player, suffered "slight" facial injuries, according to police.

Sterling did not attend a hearing at Liverpool Magistrates Court for the third time but was allowed to enter a formal not guilty plea through his solicitor, Mick Hogan, on this occasion.

District Judge Lloyd then issued a warning to Sterling that the trial would go ahead on May 20 - the day after Liverpool's final match of the season, at home to QPR - even if he failed to turn up.

"I am sure he understands that he will need to attend," she said. "If he doesn't, the trial will proceed without him."

Lloyd had questioned Sterling's absence earlier in the short hearing, saying: "It would be much more useful if he was here. But anyway, there it is. We have got what we have got."

The offence allegedly took place in the Toxteth area of Liverpool on November 2, 2012.

The incident occurred when Sterling was 17 and was initially to be dealt with at Liverpool Youth Court but, after his 18th birthday in December, the case was transferred to the adult courts.

Sterling made his senior international debut for England last November against Sweden and has earned plaudits during his 35 appearances for Liverpool this season.

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