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Drunken Rangers fans fled police after trying to take boats from exclusive Perthshire country house

Kennedy caused havoc at Perthshire's Ballathie House Hotel
Kennedy caused havoc at Perthshire's Ballathie House Hotel

A rampaging Rangers fan tried to take a boat from an exclusive country house hotel in Perthshire, before hiding in the undergrowth as police sniffer dogs tried to flush him out.

Lee Kennedy, 30, admitted being one of a trio of supporters involved in the early-hours escapade at Ballathie House Hotel at Kinclaven in Perthshire.

Kennedy – along with fellow supporters Souness Clark and James Clark – sparked a major search along the banks of the River Isla.

Police were called to a separate incident and the trio were seen leaving the hotel, just after 8am.

Pursuit ended when accused fell in river

Depute fiscal Joanne Ritchie told Perth Sheriff Court: “All of the accused were seen by the river, jumping into and between two anchored, small, motorised fishing boats.

“Kennedy was seen to attempt to row using the oars and Clark was seen trying to start the engine by pulling on the cord.

“When police arrived they managed to apprehend the second accused (James Clark).

“However, they did struggle to get the first accused and Kennedy.

Ballathie House Hotel.
Ballathie House Hotel.

“They were seen to exit nearby shrubbery and initially made their way towards police.

“They refused to engage with police and continued along the river bank into denser shrubbery.

“They continued to hide for around 30 minutes and were ignoring requests to present themselves.

“A dog handler unit attended and on seeing the dogs, they made their way along the river bank.

“The first accused fell into the river but quickly climbed back on to the bank.

“Eventually police were able to apprehend both accused.”

Accused response to police – ‘That’s mental’

The prosecutor told the court a civilian witness had managed to capture the men on video, trying to steal boats.

When Kennedy was arrested by police and charged, he replied: “That’s mental.”

Solicitor Laura Boyd, defending, said: “Back in 2018 and 2019 he was suffering from issues with drink and drugs.

“He has now turned his life around.”

The court was told Kennedy was a full-time carer for his mother and Sheriff Kevin Veal deferred sentence for the preparation of social work reports.

Kennedy, Onslow Road, Clydebank, admitted being found in a vessel on the River Isla at Ballathie Estate in circumstances from which it could be inferred he intended to commit theft on September 26 2019.

Souness Clark, 31, Inchfad Drive, Glasgow, was fined £350 earlier this year when he admitted the same charge.

Antics happened after cup quarter final

The incident happened more than 60 miles from the match they had been at the day before.

Clark – born weeks after manager Graeme Souness led the Ibrox team to the 1990 league title – tried to set sail down the river after an all-night drinking session with friends.

Perth Sheriff Court was previously told Clark was running wild in the hotel grounds more than nine hours after missing a supporters’ bus back to Glasgow.

Glen Kamara celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 during the Betfred Cup quarter-final between Livingston and Rangers. 
Glen Kamara celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 during the Betfred Cup quarter-final between Livingston and Rangers.

Police were called when a lodge at the hotel was filled with fire extinguisher foam.

The drunken escapade on the River Isla in Perthshire took place after the Scottish League Cup quarter-final against Livingston on September 25 2019, which Rangers won 1-0 thanks to a goal by former Dundee star Glen Kamara.

In the earlier case, depute fiscal Tina Dickie said: “Three men had been at a football match and missed the supporters’ bus home.

Ballathie House Hotel received a phone call from a male asking if he could book a room for the night.

“The three men were given a lodge within the hotel grounds.

“Police officers arrived at the scene and saw the accused standing in one of the boats.

“He was then seen to jump from the boat into the river.”

His cousin, James Clark, 30, of Achamore Crescent, Glasgow, was also charged.

Solicitor admits ‘stupidity’

Solicitor Tracy Paterson, defending, said: “Mr Clark and his cousin, who is unfortunately now deceased, were at the Livingston v Rangers game.

“They had gone on the supporters’ bus but had quite a bit to drink and missed the bus home.

“A friend had a room in Perth and that’s how they came to end up in the area.

“It was due to the level of intoxication and his gross stupidity that this offence has arisen.

“This night was down to drunken stupidity. They had missed the bus and made a night of it.

“They had a few drinks, his cousin acted up and he wanted to get away from him and that is when the stupidity occurred.”

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