Football thug faces jail after flares halted match

The match had to be halted.
The match had to be halted.
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A FOOTBALL thug who was part of a mob who brought a Scottish Cup tie to a halt is facing a jail sentence.

Stuart Bogie was part of a 30-strong group of men who lit flares and threw smoke bombs during Preston Athletic’s home match against Queen’s Park in October last year.

The match was temporarily abandoned during the second half of Queen’s Park’s 2-1 win at Pennypit Park, Prestonpans, East Lothian, just moments after the home team had pulled a goal back.

Referee Nick Walsh was forced to take the players from the field of play after a mini-pitch invasion by home supporters who also threw smoke bombs and lit flares during the second round replay.

Bogie, 22, was among the unruly gang who were ejected from the ground following the trouble, but was later spotted brandishing a lit flare as he continued to watch the match from a nearby garden.

He escaped the clutches of police officers during the match but was detained two weeks later after being identified by officers.

Bogie, from Prestonpans, appeared at Haddington Sheriff Court yesterday (WED) and admitted to shouting, swearing and acting in aggressive and threatening manner and brandishing a lit flare at an address at North Grange Avenue, Prestonpans, on 12 October 2013.

Depute fiscal Brent Bissett told the court that four smoke bombs had been thrown during the match which had attracted a bumper crowd of more than 800 supporters.

Mr Bissett added: “During the match around 30 supporters became boisterous and were thought to be responsible for throwing four flares, or smoke bombs.

“As a response to this the match was temporarily abandoned and other officers were summoned to help with the crowd control.

“A group were forcibly ejected from the ground and some members walked round and were seen standing in a garden backing onto the football ground.

“An officer recognised the accused within the group and accused was goading the officer and challenging him to come into the garden. He was in possession of a lit flare and brandished it at the crowd by waving it in the air.”

Solicitor Andrew Mellor said his client had drunk three bottles of Buckfast before the match started.

Mr Mellor said: “He attended the football match and at some time during the afternoon was handed a flare and went on to act in the manner described.

“The enjoyment of the crowd was disturbed by his actions and he very much regrets it.”

Sheriff Peter Braid said: “Given that you had a flare and that the locus is North Grange Avenue and not the stadium itself, and that the crowd were caused to act in a disorderly manner by your actions I will defer sentence for the preparation of a social work report.”

Sheriff Braid deferred sentence until next month.

Another member of the gang, 21-year-old Steven Moffat, from Prestonpans, was jailed for 140 days after pleading guilty to breaching the peace, resisting arrest and drinking in public after appearing from custody at Haddington Sheriff Court two days after the match.