Former Hibs player walks free after second assault trial collapses

Darren McCormack played for Brechin. Picture; SNS
Darren McCormack played for Brechin. Picture; SNS

A FORMER Hibs footballer who was fined for attacking a Hearts star has walked free from a second assault charge.

Defender Darren McCormack punched then-Jambo Calum Elliot in the face when the pair clashed in Edinburgh’s trendy George Street in 2009.

Darren McCormack

in action for Hibs in 2008/2009

Darren McCormack in action for Hibs in 2008/2009

McCormack, who currently plays for Brechin City, attacked Elliot after the Hearts player had made disparaging comments about their respective careers.

McCormack was fined £1000 for lashing out at Elliot during the late-night incident and was subsequently fined two weeks’ wages by the Easter Road club.

Now the 28-year-old centre half has been cleared of attacking Joseph Haughian by punching him “four or five times” to the face during an alleged confrontation in Leith.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told McCormack was seen to punch Mr Haughian to the face, leaving the man with a bloody nose at the Capital’s Academy Street in September last year.

But the trial collapsed yesterday after the only witness to give evidence claimed he saw Mr Haughian being the aggressive one and believed McCormack was acting in self defence.

Witness James Watson, 49, said he spotted the footballer and the other man square up to each other after voices had been raised at around 4.45pm on September 28 last year.

Mr Watson said: “As I walked down I saw four people and the two younger men were squaring off while the other two were telling them to leave it.

“The heavier man began to advance on the lighter man [McCormack]. The lighter man then threw a punch and the other man recoiled and fell back.”

Mr Watson added he saw McCormack strike the man a further four times to the face but said Mr Haughian had been the aggressor on each occasion.

Following Mr Watson’s evidence Fiscal depute Ian Batho told Sheriff Frank Crowe he would not be calling any more witnesses.

Sheriff Crowe said: “We have heard evidence today and the procurator fiscal, very properly, has abandoned the proceedings. No further evidence will be led and I accordingly find you not guilty.”