DUNDEE footballer Paul McGowan has failed in a bid to have his electronic tag removed so he can go on his club’s pre-season tour to Hungary.
The Scottish Premiership player was placed on a tagging order for four months in April after he was spared jailed despite being convicted of assaulting a police officer for the third time.
The restriction of liberty order means he must be in his home between7pm and 7am every day and led to him missing an evening game for his club against Celtic.
However, he went back to Airdrie Sheriff Court today to ask for the condition to be relaxed so he can join his team mates and manager Paul Hartley on the trip.
The 27-year-old kicked PC Jamie White after he was arrested during a fracas in November last year.
The incident happened less than 24 hours after he had played in Dundee’s 2-1 defeat to Celtic at Celtic Park.
McGowan, of Airdrie, Lanarkshire, who has battled a gambling problem, today had his application was refused by Sheriff Derek O’Carroll.
His lawyer Peter Malone said the midfielder feared losing his place in the team if he was not allowed to go on the training camp.
He said: “This is a defence application to remove the restriction of liberty order which you put in place just over two months ago.
“The order is for him to remain in his home between 7am and 7pm for four months and he has done that for the last two months.
“He has continued seeking assistance through the Professional Footballers Association for his gambling issue and everything is going well on that.
“The players are due to attend a pre-season training camp in Hungary between 5th and 12th July and he would not be able to attend due to the current order that is in place.
“I would ask you to vary that order to allow him to attend the training camp, he would have no difficulty if you were to add an extra week at the end of the current order.
“If he was not able to attend then it would put him at a disadvantage to others in the squad.
“It is his final year of employment with that club and it is highly important for him to attend if at all possible.”
But Sheriff O’Carroll refused to change the order, telling him: “The order I imposed was a direct alternative to custody and the submissions made at the time from his lawyer were that he was on the cusp of custody given his record, and that is something I agreed with.
“I imposed this order as a direct alternative to custody and it is also a punishment which can have certain consequences on your personal and professional life.
“I have heard nothing at all to grant the request and therefore the application is refused.”
McGowan had earlier admitted assaulting PC White and shouting and swearing and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.
He has played for a number of senior Scottish clubs including Celtic, Hamilton, Morton and he joined Dundee last summer from St Mirren.
Last year he was sentenced to 130 hours of unpaid work and a one-year supervision order for attacking two police officers in 2013.