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Police didn’t fully investigate Dens Park flare incident, trial hears

Dundee Sheriff Court.
Dundee Sheriff Court.

Police failed to fully investigate an incident during which a lit flare was thrown into the crowd at Dens Park, a court has been told.

Callum Jeram, 18, is on trial facing claims he endangered the safety of football fans during Dundee’s Scottish Premiership game with Hibs on February 22.

He is accused of hurling a smoke grenade into the disabled section of the Shankly Stand, where it was kicked away by a carer.

The teenager claims the pyrotechnic was thrown at him by somebody else, already lit, and that he picked it up and threw it away, burning his hand in the process.

CCTV footage from Bell Street police headquarters confirms he told officers this but they did not note it down or make further inquiries, Dundee Sheriff Court heard.

Addressing PC Scott Anderson, solicitor Stuart Hamilton said: “Mr Jeram told you and your colleagues at the charge bar that the device had been thrown at him and that he picked it up.

“He said ‘I chucked it because it was burning my hands. If something is burning you you’re not going to hold it’.

“He wasn’t being cheeky, he was complying with you.”

PC Anderson said he could not remember the conversation as it had been a “busy night”.

PC Lana Lorender, who was also speaking to Jeram while waiting at the charge bar on the night in question, said she had not noted down his comments either.

Mr Hampton asked her: “Would you agree that’s quite important information and that further inquiries would have to be made?”, to which she replied “yes”.

The officer said she did not know why Jeram’s comments had not been written down.

Jeram also took to the witness stand, telling the court: “Hibs had just scored.

“It was pretty hectic, everyone was jumping about and singing.

“Something hit me on the arm and fell to my feet.

“It came from behind me. There was a lot of smoke coming out of it.

“I didn’t know what it was. I picked it up and it started to burn my hand.

“I threw it away as quickly as possible.”

Jeram, who had travelled down from his home in Edinburgh for the match, said he had not intended the device to land in the disabled section.

The trial will continue on Tuesday.

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