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Footballer on trial over match language

A SHETLAND teenager was ticked off at Lerwick Sheriff Court for using racially abusive language during a bad tempered football match.

Following a short trial on Thursday that heard from six witnesses, 18 year old Martin Neeson was found guilty of calling a player from the opposite team a ‘black bastard’ in response to a poorly judged tackle.

The complainer, of Asian descent, was born in Glasgow and described himself as coloured Scottish of mixed background.

Neeson, of Smuggabank, Mossbank, claimed in court that what he actually said was: “Fuck off you Hun bastard”, in reference to the Glasgow Rangers shirt the rival player wore.

The court heard that the six-a-side match at the Brae astroturf pitch on 27 September last year had been a heated affair with high tension and plenty of bad language.

Witnesses for the crown and the defence gave opposing evidence as to what had really been said by the accused.

Finding the young apprentice scaffolder guilty of the charge, Sheriff Philip Mann said the witnesses presented by the crown had been more credible than those from the defence.

Admonishing Neeson, the sheriff said he did not regard him as a racist and that his language had been a product of the heat of the moment.