FOUR Rangers fans appeared in court today accused of singing offensive songs at a Championship match last month.
The accused included former soldier Richard Monteith, who hit the headlines last month when he claimed he had been asked to leave a bar after the match between Rangers and Raith Rovers in Kirkcaldy because he was wearing a t-shirt with a Union Jack motif.
Today, he and Jack Anderson, Craig Ferguson and Ruben Mercer stood in the dock at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court facing charges under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act.
Monteith, 36, and Mercer, 17, are accused of singing songs that “glorify terrorism and in support of a group affiliated to a proscribed terrorist organisation”.
Ferguson, 22, and Anderson, 16, are alleged to have sung a song that “contained offensive and religiously offensive lyrics”.
Monteith, of Shieldhill, Falkirk, Ferguson, of Bishopbriggs and Anderson, of Hamilton, denied the charges against them.
Trial dates were set for the trio in June.
Mercer, of Kelvindale, Glasgow, had the case against him continued without plea until next month.
The offences are said to have taken place at the Championship clash between Raith Rovers and Rangers on February 20.
Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist QC released all four men on bail with a special condition they do not enter Raith Rovers’ stadium, Stark’s Park, ahead of their trial date.
Richard Monteith - a former Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders soldier - hit out last month after he claimed he was thrown out of the Black Bull pub in Polmont, Falkirk, hours after he returned from the match.
He said he was told to turn his collar down as it bore a Union Jack flag underneath - and was asked to leave when he refused.
Monteith claimed he was told the flag was “offensive”.
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