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Man denies making social media threat to shoot Hibs boss Lennon

By Staff Reporter

A man has appeared in court accused of threatening to kill former Northern Ireland football captain Neil Lennon.

Sean Cowan allegedly wrote about the Lurgan man, who is now manager of Scottish side Hibernian: "Someone give me a weapon and I will shoot this little terrorist in the head with impunity.

"I'm serious. I would. I have previous for firearms."

Cowan (54) is said to have made the remarks on the social media website Facebook last Saturday, August 12, following Hibs' 3-2 win over Rangers at Ibrox.

Cowan was arrested on Tuesday over the alleged death threats.

He was later rushed to hospital whilst in police custody due to a mystery health scare.

Medics had serious concerns over Cowan's health so he was kept in hospital, under police guard.

He was released from hospital on Thursday, but remained in police custody until appearing in the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court yesterday near Glasgow, before Sheriff Linda Smith.

He was represented by defence solicitor David Nicholson during the hearing, where he faced two charges.

The first charge, brought under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act, states that Cowan communicated material which consisted of, contained or implied a threat or incitement to carry out a seriously violent act against a person.

The charge further states that Cowan intended to "cause fear or alarm or were reckless as to whether communication of the material would cause fear or alarm" in his Facebook post.

The second charge states that Cowan posted a message to Facebook, "that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character, in that said message contained a grossly offensive remark regarding Neil Lennon".

The address of former Celtic manager and captain Lennon (46) who was capped 40 times for Northern Ireland between 1994 and 2002, is given on court papers as the Police Service of Scotland.

Sheriff Smith recorded a plea of not guilty to both charges and released Cowan, of Johnstone, Renfrewshire, on bail.

A trial is set to take place in November, with a pre-trial hearing scheduled for October.

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