Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

'Sectarian abuse' aimed at Lennon

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 has 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, 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.

"The person slipped and was lying in front of him (Lennon), and I just jumped on top of him.

"I vaguely remember him making contact with the manager. It looked like he had a hand round the back of his neck."

Mr Croy said he was lying over the man's thighs and part of his waist, facing him. He said their faces would have been "about 18-20 inches" apart.

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.

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