Footballer to face criminal charges

One of England's most prominent footballers, who is facing criminal prosecution, is expected in court next month.

Lee Cattermole, who captains Premiership side Sunderland FC, stands accused of vandalising cars in Teeside, home of his team's bitter rivals Newcastle.

Cattermole, 23, did not appear in court to hear the adjournment read at Newcastle Magistrates' Court, during which his five charges of criminal damage were also listed. The case will now be heard at the same court on April 16.

The court cases relate to five cars that were allegedly damaged at the end of last year, and initially led to Sunderland team-mate and Arsenal FC loanee Nicklas Bendtner being charged alongside Cattermole, although charges against the Dane were later dropped.

News of the allegations brought against Cattermole has caused a further breakdown in relations between Sunderland FC and Newcastle FC, the two rival teams that make up the brutally competitive North-East derby.

Copyright Press Association 2012