Donal MacIntyre is ready to give a football thug a hearing
Published 08/02/2012 | 09:51
Donal MacIntyre, the investigative journalist, is making a documentary on Jason Marriner, the violent football thug that he helped to imprison.
Although it hardly chimes with the mantra that, when it comes to crime, “society needs to condemn a little more, understand a little less,” Irish undercover journalist Donal MacIntyre is working on a documentary that puts the point of view of Jason Marriner, the violent football thug that the investigative journalist helped to put behind bars 12 years ago.
“I’ve been talking to Jason Marriner for some time and we’re making a film together to understand the take that he and his associates have on me,” says MacIntyre.
The 46-year-old presenter of MacIntyre Undercover and Sunday World crime writer admits that he has been living in fear of a revenge attack on him and his family since Marriner was jailed for six years after being found guilty of conspiring to commit violent disorder at a match between Chelsea and Leicester City.
Marriner’s barrister described MacIntyre, whose programme had exposed his client, as a “dangerous liar” during the trial. “For my family, it’s a constant battle because of that programme as we never know where to go where we’re not going to face abuse, and I can’t have that for my kids,” he says.
Two years ago, MacIntyre was set upon in a wine bar and knocked unconscious, and his wife, Ameera, was left bruised and crying. One man, a friend of Marriner, was subsequently convicted of actual bodily harm.
MacIntyre, whose wife recently gave birth to a second child, Hunter said, that he hopes his forthcoming programme, which will be narrated by Ray Winstone, and which will incorporate the views of Chelsea Football Club, will mean his family will no longer have to be fearful. He says Marriner is in no mood to repent, but he hopes he will be able to find a “middle line” between the two of them.