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Paul McGowan escapes jail for police assault

St Mirren footballer Paul McGowan faces sentencing for assaulting two police officers. Picture: SNS

St Mirren footballer Paul McGowan faces sentencing for assaulting two police officers. Picture: SNS

St Mirren’s Paul McGowan has been sentenced to 130 hours of unpaid work and a one-year supervision order for attacking two police officers.

The Paisley club’s midfielder admitted kicking police constable Edward Gilmartin and repeatedly kicking police constable Tony Fitzpatrick in Airdrie and at Coatbridge Police Station on August 11.

Sheriff Frank Pieri told McGowan, who has a previous conviction for police assault, that his punishment was a direct alternative to custody.

Charges alleging McGowan kicked Special Constable Martine McNee on the body and acted in a threatening and abusing manner likely to cause fear and alarm were dropped after he pleaded not guilty.

The 26-year-old former Celtic player was released on bail and has continued playing for St Mirren since admitting the assault.

Sheriff Petra Collins deferred sentence on McGowan until today for reports.

A statement from St Mirren said: “Today’s sentencing brings this deeply regrettable matter to a close.

“We have been very clear that we do not condone Paul’s actions in any way. Everyone involved with St Mirren Football Club is fully aware that we “expect them to act in accordance with our commitment to respect and tolerance in our community.

“Paul knows what he did was wrong and completely unacceptable. As a club, our long-term objective is to help him learn from his behaviour and move “on with his life and career and, as such, we have no further comment to make.”

The player has a contract with St Mirren until this summer. He has made more than 120 appearances for the Paisley club, scoring more than 20 goals.

 

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