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Smoke bomb supporter banned from McDiarmid Park

Celtic's Stefan Johansen (left) battles with St. Johnstone’s Steven MacLean during the match in December.
Celtic's Stefan Johansen (left) battles with St. Johnstone’s Steven MacLean during the match in December.

A football fan has been banned from matches after he was caught sneaking three smoke grenades into a game between St Johnstone and Celtic in Perth.

Colum Martin, 24, had the grenades tucked inside his jacket as he tried to enter McDiarmid Park via turnstiles in the Ormond Stand.

He was collared by security staff who became suspicious that he had something concealed within his clothing and was trying to evade detection.

The smoke grenades, which come in a variety of colours such as green, blue or white, are used in paintballing to add extra realism to the games.

The coloured mist-producing projectiles are usually thrown by paintballers either to provide a smokescreen for themselves or a distraction for other participants.

More than 6,400 fans attended the Scottish Premier League match last December at McDiarmid Park to see Celtic run out 3-0 winners.

However, Martin, Woodside Crescent, Motherwell, was stopped by eagle-eyed security staff as he tried to enter the ground in time for the 12.30pm kick-off.

At Perth Sheriff Court on Monday, Sheriff Fiona Tait heard that the two witnesses were standing outside a turnstile on the Ormond Stand.

Depute Fiscal Tina Dickie said: “Both stopped the accused as he was about to enter the turnstiles as they suspected he was in possession of controlled items.”

A search off the accused revealed he had a small black container within his left hand coat pocket that turned out to be a smoke grenade.

Ms Dickie continued: “Security staff called for police officers. The police officers took possession of the smoke grenade and conducted a search of the accused and found him in possession of two more smoke grenades.”

Sheriff Tait deferred sentence until next month for the production of criminal justice social work reports.

Martin was released on bail with a special condition that he does not enter any SFL football match or enter any ground either one hour before or after kick-off.

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