A children’s football match was abandoned after a punch-up on the sidelines.
Ian Scobie, 44, punched two teenagers during the closing minutes of the under-16s game between Blairgowrie and Monifieth after hearing the youngsters taunting players.
Tensions at the game, which Monifieth were winning, were already running high after a player had been bitten, but Scobie snapped and lashed out at two boys who had been watching the match.
Witnesses for the defence said that a trio of boys had been aggravating players and spectators but had responded with “cheek” when asked to refrain.
In an interview with police, Scobie admitted slapping the teenagers but said he had been acting in self-defence.
One of Scobie’s victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Perth Sheriff Court that he and his group of friends had been heckled by a Monifieth player for being on the “wrong” side of the pitch.
The 17-year-old said that following this exchange Mr Scobie launched an unprovoked attack on him, before turning on one of his friends.
He said: “One of their player’s said ‘get on the other side’. (His friend) said ‘what’s it got to do with you?’
“He then swore at us, but I can’t remember what he said. The accused walked towards us, grabbed me by the throat and punched me. I think it was because I was arguing with a player.
“I never really felt anything, I was just shocked.(Friend) said what are you doing and then he turned round and punched him to the ground.”
He denied a suggestion by defence solicitor Kevin Hampton that he had attacked Scobie first.
Gayle Tomney, the mother of one of the Blairgowrie players, said Scobie had fled in his car after the incident and that the game “was eventually abandoned”.
Scobie’s wife, Fiona, said the trio had been “antagonising” others at the game.
She said: “I asked them kindly to move because they were antagonising members of our team. They had a football, which they kept kicking on to the pitch.
“Once or twice could have been an accident but this was deliberate.”
Another witness, Les Scott, said he saw the three boys crowded round Scobie and said he thought they were going to attack him.
Scobie, of Haddington Gardens, Dundee, had denied assaulting the boys at Davie Park in Rattray on August 30.
Convicting Scobie, Sheriff Fiona Tait acknowledged that he had been antagonised and deferred sentence for reports.