Two in court over Station Park flare chaos

Flares were lit after Forfar's fixture against Linlithgow Rose was halted due to an electrical fault.
Flares were lit after Forfar's fixture against Linlithgow Rose was halted due to an electrical fault.

A football fan “taunted” cops with a flare as chaos reigned during a Scottish Cup tie that was abandoned due to floodlight failure.

The fourth-round clash between Forfar Athletic and junior side Linlithgow Rose had to be halted due to an electrical issue on January 19.

The Angus club’s Station Park ground then became engulfed in smoke as visiting supporters lit flares in the darkness.

Linlithgow men Jordan Kennedy and Joshua Bell have now appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court and admitted throwing a flare and running on to the pitch respectively.

Their solicitor said the pair were “both clearly drunk, both clearly stupid” and apologised for their actions.

Fiscal depute Joanne Smith told the court there was no prearranged police presence at the game, which quickly changed due to “unruly behaviour in a small section of Linlithgow supporters”.

She said: “Police attended at 7.50pm and a number of smoke flares were active in the Linlithgow stand.”

They were confronted by Kennedy, who was holding a smoke bomb.

She added: “Mr Kennedy was taunting police officers while holding the item. Prior to his being restrained he launched the lit pyrotechnic to the south stand which still contained supporters.

“Mr Bell ran from the stand, jumped the barrier and ran on to the playing field towards Mr Kennedy.”

Bell, 22, of Deanburn Road, Linlithgow, pleaded guilty to running on to the pitch and committing a breach of the peace.

Kennedy, 19, of Lovells Glen, Linlithgow, admitted culpably and recklessly throwing a pyrotechnic smoke flare into a stand filled with spectators, to their danger.

Not guilty pleas to Kennedy possessing a smoke flare and both being drunk in the stadium were accepted by the Crown.

Defence agent John Hall said Bell is due to start a degree in criminology - but that the offence “was not the kind of coursework” he had imagined.

Sheriff Pino Di Emidio imposed a six-month community payback order on Bell, with 60 hours of unpaid work, but declined a Crown invitation to impose a football banning order.

Sentence was deferred on Kennedy until April 7 for the preparation of social work background reports and the consideration of a banning order.