Smokebomb costs fan his seat at cup final

Action from Motherwell v Hibs
Action from Motherwell v Hibs

A HIBS football supporter has been banned from the Scottish Cup final for setting off a smokebomb while watching his team at Fir Park.

Russell Gilbert ignited the device during his team’s SPL game with Motherwell on March 15. He was arrested and appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court where he admitted putting other fans in danger.

The smokebomb was set off in the away section of the South Stand early in the game. Play was not disrupted and Motherwell ran out 4-1 winners.

Sentence on Gilbert (19), of Musselburgh, East Lothian, had been deferred until last week for background reports. Sheriff John Miller then continued the case for another six months for good behaviour.

Gilbert is currently on bail and a condition of that is he must not attend any regulated football match.

Sheriff Miller ruled that condition should remain, meaning Gilbert will miss next week’s Scottish Cup final when Hibs will take on Celtic at Hampden Park.

He must return to court on, ironically, November 5 - Guy Fawkes Night - when the sheriff will consider a Crown request to impose a formal fixed-term banning order.

As well as missing the final, Gilbert will be unable to attend any of Hibs’ European games next season. The Easter Road side will play in the Europa League qualifiers regardless of the cup final result.

Defence agent Douglas Barr said his client hadn’t been in trouble before and was ‘a first offender in the true sense of the word’.

A Fir Park source said: “You have to feel sorry for this lad. He was caught on CCTV, but none of the fans around him had complained. It’s not as if people were climbing over seats to flee.”