Legal hitch delays case against Hibs fans accused of sectarian songs

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TWO Hibs fans accused under Scotland’s new law against football sectarianism had their case delayed today by a legal hitch.

Stephen Rogers and Edward Mouat, both 44, were due to face trial at Falkirk Sheriff Court accused of singing offensive songs on a train passing through the Stirlingshire town as it took them home from the Scottish Cup semi-final in April.

But Rogers told Sheriff William Gallacher that he had not been able to get legal aid “because of the newness of the legislation” and wanted more time to arrange for a solicitor to defend him.

Rogers, of Prospect Bank Grove, Edinburgh and Mouat of Hutchsion Grove, Edinburgh, deny a charge of shouting and swearing and “singing songs containing racial insults and jibes”.

It is alleged that the incident occurred on a train journey from Glasgow Queen Street station to Edinburgh after the semi-final at Hampden Park on April 14th at which Hibs beat Aberdeen.

Hibs went on to lose the cup final to Hearts.

Sheriff Gallacher set a new trial date of August 28, and ordered that a pre-trial review should be held on August 8, to make sure Rogers had by then got his lawyer and funding properly in place.

He then told Rogers, who had chewed vigorously throughout his appearance, that he should make sure he was “not eating” when he next appeared.

He added: “This is not a cafe and I won’t tolerate people eating in the dock.”