A young football fan who threw a smoke bomb onto the pitch during a match between Dunfermline and Falkirk faces a football banning order.
Bairns supporter Kieran Turner was captured on camera launching the flare from the top of a stand at East End Park about half an hour into the game last month.
A sheriff said the throwing of smoke bombs at football matches is becoming a “bit of a plague” and warned the 18-year-old he could be made an example of when he returns to be sentenced.
Dunfermline Sheriff Court heard Turner, of Lawers Place in Grangemouth, had been in the top left side of the stadium with friends at around 3:30pm on September 17.
Procurator fiscal depute Azrah Yousaf said: “At this time, (he) lit a smoke bomb flare with blue smoke and the accused threw it towards the field of play.”
The fiscal depute said police arrested Turner at 6:40pm that evening and he initially denied responsibility.
But Ms Yousaf said the incident was captured on CCTV and after being taken to the police station, Turner said: “Fair enough, time to own up, I did it.”
Turner appeared in the dock this week to plead guilty to culpably and recklessly throwing a smoke bomb towards the field of play at Dunfermline Athletic FC, to the danger of the lieges.
Smoke bomb ‘plague’
Defence lawyer Simon Hutchison said: “He (Turner) was with his friends at the pub before the Dunfermline v Falkirk game and someone was selling flares and stupidly, in the heat of the moment, he bought one.
“While in the ground threw the flare from the top of the stand.
“It landed on the side of the pitch.”
The solicitor said Turner has been going to watch Falkirk for a number of years with his brother and had never been in trouble.
He said his first offender client, who is starting trial shifts with a roofing firm, is remorseful and has learned a “significant lesson” from his time in police custody.
Sheriff Andrew Berry told the teenager: “The throwing of smoke bombs at football matches seems to be becoming something of a plague.
“I am conscious of the fact it’s difficult for people to be identified who throw such items.
“You have been identified and it may well be you will be an example to be set for everyone else who thinks it’s appropriate to behave like this – anyone buying a flare, taking a flare into a football match or lighting a flare and throwing it.
“It was not accidental or spur of the moment.
“With all the the constituent parts the damage and consequences could have been extremely serious.”
Sheriff Berry also highlighted a recent incident in which a nine-year-old boy was hurt after being hit by a flare at a football match.
It was reported last month a boy of this age had been injured by a flare at Celtic Park before Celtic’s match against Real Madrid in the Champions League.
The sheriff added: “That’s the reality of the wholly inappropriate nature of such conduct.”
The sheriff deferred sentence on Turner until November 2 for the production of background reports and to continue consideration of imposing a football banning order.
Sheriff Berry also told him: “You will not attend another professional football match in Scotland while the case is ongoing.”
Turner was released on bail meantime.
City centre clash
The Courier previously reported on clashes between opposing sets of fans in Dunfermline city centre prior to the match on September 17, forcing some shoppers to take cover in shops and doorways.
Footage of the incident was posted on social media.