Teenage fans dodge a ban from games

Trouble flared after Motherwell's victory over Hearts last August
Trouble flared after Motherwell's victory over Hearts last August

Two teenage Motherwell fans involved in trouble with rival supporters can continue to follow their team after dodging football banning orders.

The pair were both just 16 when, wearing balaclavas to hide their identities, they and other hooligans charged at Hearts fans after a game at Fir Park.

The youths admitted threatening or abusive behaviour when they appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court last week.

Trouble flared as police were escorting visiting fans towards Motherwell train station after the Scottish Premiership game last August.

Motherwell had just beaten Hearts 2-1.

Scott King, prosecuting, said the Hearts fans turned and ran back towards Windmillhill Street when they were confronted by a group of 10-12 youths, most of whom were wearing balaclavas.

Someone could be heard saying the youths had knives, but no blades were seen by police.

Mr King told the court: “On seeing the police, the group dispersed. One of the youths was arrested soon after. A balaclava was found on the ground near him.

“The other teenager was tracked via CCTV to the train station where the police arrested him. He had a balaclava in his back pocket and was carrying a glass bottle.”

The youths, who are both from Wishaw, can’t be named because they are not yet 18.

Background reports were said to be favourable and defence agent Vincent McGovern said his client wished to “put the matter behind him” and build on the positive aspects of his life.

Elspeth Forrest, representing the second youth, said: “The report describes a young man who could go far.”

Morag McLintock, prosecuting, asked Sheriff Douglas Brown to impose orders banning the pair from attending regulated football matches.

But the sheriff decided not to go down that route.

One youth was put under supervision for three months and ordered to do 90 hours of unpaid community work.

Sentence on his co-accused was deferred until February for good behaviour.