A former Blade who got into an argument with the tenants of a shared house he let has been found not guilty of attacking a student in a row over cleaning.
Paul Williams, 50, was on trial at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court for harassing two tenants into giving up their nine-bedroomed home in Broomhall.
But the former centre forward was today cleared of all charges after the court heard the students involved had set up a hate group against their landlord and his company, Home Accommodation, on Facebook.
District Judge Sam Goozee said one tenant, Luke Bamforth, was accused by Mr Williams of swearing at his wife, Clare, when she went over and found the house in a state. Mr Bamforth had denied the allegation.
But Judge Goozee added: “Mr Bamforth created a Facebook page called We Hate Home Accommodation, openly inviting comments about Home Accommodation and particularly about Paul and Claire Williams.
“It’s not the actions you would expect of someone who yesterday denied using threatening language towards Mrs Williams.”
Mr Williams, of Whitham Road, Broomhill, moved into the property business after a professional football career which began at Leeds United when he was a schoolboy. He had a brief stint with the Blades after signing in 1988, before playing for West Brom and Rochdale in the 1990s and playing for Doncaster on loan.
The mother of one-time Northern Ireland international was a Nobel Peace Prize winner.