New trial date for Station park assault case

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Four football fanatics are to stand trial accused of running on the pitch and attacking ex-Celtic and Scotland goalkeeper Rab Douglas at the final whistle of an SPFL match.

Ian Bear, Douglas Allsop, Kenneth Murray and Ryan Lawrence are all accused of offences committed at a match in April between their team, Airdrieonians, and Douglas’s club at the time, Forfar Athletic.

It is alleged that all four men repeatedly shouted, swore and “directed foul and abusive language” at Douglas then ran on the pitch at Station Park, Forfar.

Lawrence is further accused of threatening violence - and that his offence was “aggravated by religious prejudice”.

Bear is accused of spitting on Douglas - before running towards him on the park and repeatedly punching him on the head.

Murray is also accused of repeatedly punching the ‘keeper on the head.

Lawrence faces three assault charges - firstly allegedly spitting on Douglas’s head before running towards him and repeatedly punching him on the head.

He is also accused of assaulting Thomas McKelvie - understood to be a steward at the ground - and struggling with him and punching him on the chest.

The quartet were due to stand trial today (Tuesday) - with Douglas turning up at court to give evidence against them.

But he was sent away along with 19 other witnesses because the courtroom the case had been assigned to was too small to deal with the case, while pleas offered by defence solicitors were rejected by the Crown.

Bear, 36, of George Street, Airdrie, Allsop, 40, of Albert Place, Airdrie, Murray, 30, of Canal Place, Aberdeen, and Lawrence, 19, of West Drive, Airdrie, all deny the charges against them on summary complaint.

Sheriff Pino di Emidio set a trial date in July and ordered the four to attend then.