BOXER Scott Harrison has been sentenced to another four years in a Spanish jail in a bodyblow to his dreams of becoming a world champion again.
• Boxer Scott Harrison has been sentenced to four years in jail after assaulting three men near a brothel
• Sentence casts doubt on his ability to challenge for world title, but Harrison is expected to appeal
The Scot was found guilty of assaulting three men at a brothel near Malaga after a one-day trial at Malaga. He received two years each for the two most serious assaults and a fine for a lesser assault on his third victim. His dreams of a return to boxing greatness lay in tatters last night after court officials published their sentence.
Harrison, 35, is expected to launch an appeal to avoid an immediate return to prison and try to go ahead with a third comeback fight in Glasgow on 1 December before that hearing takes place. He only left jail in Spain in September last year after completing a 30-month prison sentence for a 2005 assault near Malaga.
Today’s sentence followed his arrest over a May 2007 assault on three Spaniards at a brothel called Oxigeno in Alhaurin el Grande near Malaga.
The boxer’s two cousins Edward and David McGill were also arrested - but have yet to be located and tried.
The victims included brothel owner Francisco Gonzalez, who told three trial judges on September 26 the boxer had punched his front tooth out as he tried to defend two customers Harrison and his cousins were attacking.
Lead judge Julian Cruz, in a nine-page sentencing document published today, said: “Scott Harrison is not a first-time offender and his criminal record reflects a prior assault conviction.
“We’re also taking into account the dangerous nature of this criminal attack, in terms of where Francisco was hit, the serious injuries inflicted on the victims, and the fact one of the accused was a professional boxer with extensive experience when it comes to fighting.”
Harrison was sentenced to two years jail each for assaults on Gonzalez and 39-year-old construction worker Salvador Jimenez, who was off work for 77 days with injuries to his knees, wrist and elbow.
He was also fined £960 after being convicted of a third minor assault on Salvador’s friend Rafael Sainz, who committed suicide in January 2009.
Harrison, from Cambuslang, was also ordered to pay nearly £8,300 in compensation to his victims, including £1,600 to the brothel owner for the loss of his tooth.
Former WBO featherweight champ Harrison is expected to try to avoid starting his sentence immediately by launching an appeal against his conviction.
His defence lawyer Damian Canovas was unavailable for comment today but has previously indicated he would appeal a guilty verdict and fresh prison sentence.
Harrison was last night thought to be preparing in Spain for this third fight since his comeback in June, although his exact whereabouts was unknown.
The Scot protested his innocence over the May 2007 bust-up at Oxigeno Brothel during his one-day trial.
Brothel owner Francisco Gonzalez told the hearing the ex-world champ went for him as he tried to defend the other two Spaniards Harrison assaulted inside the sex club - allegedly with his two cousins - in an unprovoked attack.
The Scots trio are said to have laid in wait outside the club and attacked the the pair with their fists, feet, bottles and stones as they left to find an ambulance.
Harrison, who attended court with his fiancee Stacey Gardner and son Jack, four, insisted: “All I tried to do was escape when people I’ve never met before started throwing bottles at us for reasons I didn’t know.
“I’ve no idea how the men who claimed we attacked them suffered their injuries.”
The judges trying Harrison dismissed his claims in their sentencing document, describing Mr Gonzalez’s account of events as “totally sincere.”
They added: “Even though the injuries Mr Gonzalez’s customers suffered were also caused by his companions, Scott Harrison actively participated with punches and kicks and therefore has to assume responsibility for the consequences, whether they were directly the result of his criminal actions or of others’.”
Harrison is due to fight Greenock man John Simpson, 29, on 1 December.
He has already said he wants to take on WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns - and bounce back from nearly six years out of the ring.
Harrison was arrested several times in Spain and Scotland during a personal battle against drink, drugs and depression.
He served 30 months in jails near Malaga and Algeciras in southern Spain after being convicted of assaulting two men including a police officer following a booze bender with his uncle Jack McGill in October 2006.
His uncle, also his former trainer, committed suicide in May 2008 before the trial.