Ex-Hibs striker Garry O’Connor cleared in court of public indecency charge

Former Hibernian striker Garry O’Connor has been cleared in court after he was accused of exposing himself at a plush hotel.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 5:40 pm
Updated Monday, 19th July 2021, 8:25 pm
Garry O'Connor arrives at court

O’Connor, 38, was alleged to have told a male hotel worker ‘do you want to see a real man’s boaby?’ before dropping his trousers and flashing his buttocks.

The ex-Scotland international was also said to have asked the staff member ‘do you know who I am?’ during the exchange at the Marine Hotel in North Berwick, East Lothian.

The staff member claimed O’Connor dropped his trousers and exposed himself at the hotel reception area before fleeing with a friend following the alleged incident on June 30, 2018.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Police were called and O’Connor, from North Berwick, was eventually identified and traced to his home address two months later.

The former footballer denied he had dropped his trousers and underwear but he had unbuckled his belt to show off a scar on his hip as he needed a taxi to get home and had trouble walking.

O’Connor, who scored four goals in 16 appearances for his country, told police officers “I did not try to expose myself - I told him I’d had a hip operation and needed a taxi.”

O’Connor denied charges of public indecency and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and stood trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday.

The staff member said O’Connor and a friend arrived at the hotel at around midnight on June 30, 2018.

He asked to be served alcohol but was refused as the bar was closed and then asked for a taxi to be called to take him home.

He told the court: “I informed them the bar was closed. He tried to coax me into it but I kept saying ‘no’. He then asked me to call him a taxi.

“He said to me ‘do you know who I am?’ I said I didn't care [who he was].

“He was sitting with his friend chatting and he came over to me. He said ‘Do you want to see a real man’s boaby?’, or something like that.

“He looked happy to be doing something dumb. He came up to the side of me and undid his pants.”

O’Connor gave evidence to the court and said he had been housebound for six weeks prior to the incident due to the hip operation.

He said he had enjoyed a family meal that evening before staying out drinking with “an associate”.

O’Connor claimed the hotel employee had been “aggressive” towards him following a misunderstanding about a taxi being called for the pair.

He said he unbuckled his belt and pulled his trousers down a short way to show off his scar on his hip but strenuously denied any allegation of exposing himself.

Following the evidence, Sheriff Chris Dickson acquitted O’Connor of a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and uttering offensive remarks at the hotel.

And after a short deliberation the sheriff decided the public indecency charge had not been proven by the Crown and told the former footballer he was free to leave the dock.

O’Connor, who currently runs his own youth football academy, also starred for Russian clubs Lokomotiv Moscow and Tom Tomsk, Birmingham City, Barnsley and Morton during a 16-year playing career.