Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Neil Lennon attacker's 'sectarian insult'

A man is on trial accused of attacking Celtic football manager Neil Lennon

A security director who "jumped on top" of a man accused of attacking Celtic manager Neil Lennon said he heard him shout a sectarian comment.

Peter Croy (61), operations director for G4S stewarding and security company, was giving evidence at the trial of John Wilson (26), who is accused of attacking Lennon at a crucial Heart of Midlothian v Celtic match at Tynecastle Stadium on May 11.

The attack is alleged to have been religiously aggravated.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday, Mr Croy, who was standing in the tunnel area, said he had noticed the man climbing over the fence from the stand and believed he was going to try to run on to the pitch.

Mr Croy told the court: "I made my way towards the person and it was only seconds but I realised he was not going on the pitch. He was making his way towards Neil Lennon."

He said: "I restrained him to the ground for a few seconds before police arrived. He shouted something to Neil Lennon. He shouted: 'Lennon, ya Fenian b******.'"

Mr Croy was then asked if he could see the man in court and he said yes, pointing to Wilson in the dock.

Wilson's defence lawyer David Nicolson challenged Mr Croy's evidence, and asked if what he had actually heard was: "Lennon, ya f****** w*****."

Closing speeches are expected today.

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