Tag Archives: lanarkshire

Scottish football fans handed community service after violent clash in retail park

Fans spared jail over violent clash between Dundee and Hamilton fans in retail park

By
Matt Coyle

PUBLISHED:

14:30 GMT, 23 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:36 GMT, 23 April 2013

A gang of hooligans who fought rival fans in a busy retail park as horrified families looked on escaped jail today.

The violent bust-up unfolded at New Douglas Retail Park in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, between supporters of Hamilton Academical and Dundee.

Two gangs of up to 30 'casuals' ran riot, battered each other and even spat at disgusted onlookers.

Shaun Murray, 27, Liam Fullerton, 18,
Daniel Weir, 21, Jamie Gilchrist, 29, all from Dundee, and Joseph
Roeves, 19, from Hamilton, were on trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court last
month.

Walking free: (left to right) Shaun Murray, Liam Fullerton, and Jamie Gilchrist must do community service

Walking free: (left to right) Shaun Murray, Liam Fullerton, and Jamie Gilchrist must do community service

They had denied fighting and causing fear and alarm on the day of a Scottish First Division match on December 3, 2011.

A jury found them guilty but on Tuesday they walked free from court after Sheriff Ray Small ordered each of them to perform 250 hours of unpaid work.

However he refused to hand down Football Banning Orders despite prosecutors asking for them to be imposed.

A 13-day trial had heard how shoppers and young children were forced to run into shops for cover as the violent encounter unfolded.

The gangs, who all dressed in casual clothes and wore no football colours, fought and launched bottles at each other. One innocent man who was with his young daughter was even spat at by one of the thugs.

Sales manager Sean Bicknell, 28, described how mayhem had erupted when the gangs clashed near Accies’ ground.

He
said: 'It was mayhem. I would describe it as a large scale disorder. It
wasn’t just one on one fights going on. It was four on one. My
impression was it was an organised event.'

Lyndsay Farrell, 31, from Motherwell, was shopping in the area at the time the fight broke out.

She told the court how she was forced to take cover in her car as the shocking incident spiralled out of control.

Scary scenes: The violence erupted at at New Douglas Retail Park in Hamilton, Lanarkshire

Scary scenes: The violence erupted at at New Douglas Retail Park in Hamilton, Lanarkshire

Miss Farrell said: 'I could see people in front of me who had a hold of one male. They were punching and kicking him and tried to drag him to the ground. A lot of them had bloody noses and things.'

Defence lawyers for all five men said the incident was out of character for them and only Roeves had a previous conviction.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Small said: 'We had to sit through a very lengthy trial about the activities and actions of the accused and particularly those who travelled from Dundee.

'I am in no doubt that those who travelled down got involved in a very unpleasant incident.

'I want to make it clear that if there was evidence that any of you had been personally involved in knocking anyone to the ground, throwing bottles or other violence you would be receiving a prison sentence.

'However it is unclear from the evidence whether you were directly involved in the disorder or were on the fringes but the fact you got involved means you deserve to be punished.

'I will impose a Community Payback Order of 250 hours to be completed over 12 months.'

Sheriff Small said he would tell Hamilton Accademical and Dundee FC of the convictions.

Ryan Devaney, 23, of Dundee had earlier walked free after the jury found the charge against him not proven.

Rangers in administration: David Murray hits back

Former Rangers owner Murray: Words can't express how hugely disappointed I am

The Empire strikes back. Well, the
man so often referred to as 'the previous regime' certainly felt
compelled to retaliate with some degree of force.

Clearly prompted by Craig Whyte's
attempt to pin Rangers' financial collapse on tax debts run up as far
back as 2001, former owner Sir David Murray returned fire in a
statement that only just stopped short of blaming the new chairman for
Britain's shoogly credit rating.

On the attack: Sir David Murray

On the attack: Sir David Murray

Having insisted he would only sell the club to someone capable of taking Rangers forward, Sir David's own personal reputation among fans won't be restored by a few strong words; nothing short of a rescue package could achieve that.

Disappointing diehard disciples who dream of his glorious second coming, though, one-time saviour Murray revealed he holds no automatic right of return. At the moment, the way he tells it, he can't even get Whyte to return his calls.

Despite lines of communication having remained open in the immediate aftermath of last summer's takeover, Murray says recent attempts to seek reassurance on the club's viability have met with a stony silence.

He also claims the 'big tax case' estimated at 75million by the new owners, remains winnable, that Whyte knew all about this massive liability when he took over – and that the Lanarkshire businessman was the only serious player in town when the club was put up for sale.

Not quite sealed with a loving kiss, Sir David's official statement read: 'Words cannot express how hugely disappointed I am with news of today's appointment of administrators to The Rangers Football Club plc.

A religion: Rangers have won the Scottish title 54 times

A religion: Rangers have won the Scottish title 54 times

'The timing of the appointment of administrators is especially surprising given two facts. Firstly, there has been no decision, and there is no present indication as to the timing of a decision, from the first-tier tax tribunal concerning the potential claim from HMRC of 36.5m excluding interest and penalties.

'Secondly, legal opinion on the strength of the club's case remains favourable.

'Following a protracted sale process over a three-year period, Murray International Holdings Limited (MIH) ultimately sold its 85-per-cent controlling shareholding in the club to Wavetower Limited (Wavetower now renamed The Rangers FC Group Ltd), a company wholly owned by Craig Whyte, in good faith on May 6, 2011.

'In addition, the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) imposed a number of obligations on Wavetower. These included the retention of 9.5m on behalf of the club for investment in the playing squad, expenditure on the infrastructure of the stadium and settlement of an agreed tax liability, together with the availability of working capital to fund the club's operations. The Shareholder's Circular issued by Wavetower on June 3, 2011 confirmed these undertakings.

'Contrary to recent press speculation, there is no legal mechanism in the SPA for MIH to re-acquire the club.' That's the killer line for those hoping against hope that Whyte's headlong rush towards insolvency might give Sir David an easy way back.

Never say die: Rangers fans raise a banner with a message directed at HMRC

Never say die: Rangers fans raise a banner with a message directed at HMRC

There was more damning testimony to follow, the statement continuing: 'MIH wrote to Wavetower on August 25, 2011 seeking confirmation that its various obligations were being complied with. A confirmatory assurance was eventually obtained on January 3, 2012.

'Following recent speculation concerning the financing and security arrangements put in place by Wavetower, a request was issued seeking further clarity.

'At the time of this announcement, no response has been forthcoming.

'At the time of relinquishing control over the club, MIH endeavoured to ensure the future of the club through the various commitments and undertakings of Wavetower.

'MIH received no consideration for the sale of its controlling shareholding, but instead agreed terms attached to the sale of its stake in the club to ensure an immediate and substantial improvement in the club's financial position, as well as a significant investment in the club and its playing squad.

'In May 2011, the sale to Wavetower presented the best available path for the club's future and was reasonable given all the circumstances existing at the time. Contrary to numerous reports, there were also no viable alternative offers made in advance of the sale.

'MIH is saddened by the appointment of administrators. It recognises the tax-tribunal proceedings have stemmed from arrangements put in place during the time of its ownership.

'However, these arrangements and details of the proceedings were fully disclosed by the club to Wavetower and Craig Whyte in the due diligence process.'