Star Vainikolo's relief as GBH charge is dropped

ENGLAND winger Lesley Vainikolo has admitted his relief after charges of causing grievous bodily harm were dropped yesterday.<br /><br />The former rugby league star, 30, was accused of punching Jake Aliker outside a Bath nightclub in the early hours of 26 October 2008.<br /><br />But a jury failed to reach a verdict at the Gloucester player&rsquo;s trial at Bristol Crown Court earlier this month.<br /><br />And although the Crown Prosecution Service had been considering a retrial, the case has now been discontinued, much to the player&rsquo;s delight. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m free, I&rsquo;d like to thank God for this day and this great news,&rdquo; Vainikolo said.<br /><br />&ldquo;I would like to thank my barrister, my wife and son who have been there for me through thick and thin.<br /><br />&ldquo;This last year has been hell and I am lucky that my family and friends throughout the world have supported me.&rdquo;<br /><br />The Tongan-born star said he felt justice had been done and was now determined to put the whole affair behind him.<br /><br />He added: &ldquo;I can get on with my life now. I&rsquo;m just going to concentrate on my rugby and spend more time with my family.&rdquo;