Football fans in court over verbal abuse

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TWO football fans have appeared in court after making abusive comments at a match between Hearts and Celtic.

Celtic supporter Thomas Spence, 31, called Hearts fans “Fenian b*******” – an anti-Catholic remark that is usually used towards supporters of the Glasgow team.

Prosecutors originally charged Spence, of Earlston Place, under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act after the match in November last year, which Celtic won 4-0.

However, the Crown dropped that charge at the end of their case and Spence was found guilty of committing a breach of the peace.

Sheriff Roderick MacLeod fined him £400 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday.

Hearts fan Robert Rudkin, 43, earlier pleaded guilty to committing an offence under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act before Sheriff Alistair Noble.

The court heard that Rudkin, of Ormiston, Midlothian, shouted at Celtic fans: “You should not be in this country.”

Sentence was deferred until May 17 for character reports.