A Rangers fan has been handed a banning order for hurling a seat into a crowd, injuring a Dons supporter.
Craig Kincaid, 21, lobbed the seat over the segregation fence at Pittodrie at the end of a Scottish Cup tie between Aberdeen and Rangers on March 3, hitting Dons fan and flag-bearer Bailey Smith, 20, on the head.
Kincaid had been set to stand trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday but pled guilty to culpable and reckless behaviour.
Depute fiscal Lynne MacVicar told the court: “As the fixture came to a conclusion there was a significant increase in the level of excitement among both Aberdeen and Rangers fans and this resulted in both sets of fans moving towards the segregation fence, resulting in damage to a number of seats.
“The complainer exited his seat, coming closer to the segregation fence in preparation for exiting the stadium and while queueing was struck to the head with a piece of plastic seating which had been thrown over the segregation from the Rangers away support.
“The complainer immediately suffered dizziness and blurred vision. He attended at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for treatment, suffering a mild concussion and was provided with pain relief and head injury advice.”
Defence agent Debbie Ginniver said her client is an “avid football fan” who coached youngsters and “reacted badly” after being hit by a missile. She said: “Football is a big part of his life and he accepts his behaviour was totally out of order.”
Sheriff Ian Anderson told Kincaid, of Glen Fruin Road, Greenock: “As a keen and enthusiastic football supporter you must know how outrageous and dangerous what you did was. You know how worrying and troublesome it is when people behave in the way you did at football games.
“It provokes other people and the situation gets worse. I’m told you got hit, but that’s not an excuse for what you did. You need to get your act together.”
He handed him a two-and-a-half-year order banning him from attending matches around the UK, and a £350 fine.
Speaking outside court, Bailey, 20, said: “I’m happy with the sentence. You can’t go around football throwing seats and getting away with it. Getting a two-and-a-half year ban is decent enough and the fine as well.
“I was pretty shocked at first and I stumbled over a few seats and I grabbed my mate and he said ‘you need to go and see someone’ because I had a massive lump on my head and a black eye.”
Asked if the unsavoury incident had put him off going to matches Bailey replied: “No. No chance. Aberdeen through and through. I follow my team everywhere.”
An Aberdeen FC spokesman said: “This is a good example of the club and authorities working together and, with the increased technology now in place at Pittodrie, the outcome demonstrates that this type of behaviour simply will not be tolerated.”
A Rangers FC spokesman said: “Rangers has embarked on a new code of conduct and will consider further options under that.”
Commenting on the conviction, Chief Inspector David Howieson added: “I hope these proceedings send a clear message that reckless and irresponsible behaviour at football matches will not be tolerated.
“Along with AFC, we are committed to ensuring anyone who acts in a way which puts others at risk will be brought to justice so that we can rid football of this type of dangerous and mindless behaviour.”
The game finished 1-1, but Aberdeen went on to win the replay in Glasgow 2-0.