Celtic star faces child neglect charge

CELTIC defender Charlie Mulgrew and his partner Alana have been charged with child neglect over an alleged incident in a car park, it was reported last night.

The charge follows an alleged incident on 22 December where Ultimo founder Michelle Mone reported that a baby boy had been left in a car in sub-zero temperatures during a Christmas shopping trip.

Mulgrew 24, and Alana, 22, have hired a prominent legal team to defend them if the case comes to court. If such a trial goes ahead, it is likely that Mone, founder of Ultimo and one of Scotland's most successful businesswomen, would be called as a witness.

Mulgrew is understood to have met with his legal team to discuss the case last week.

Last night, lawyer Paul McBride QC confirmed that he has been instructed but declined to comment further.

A Crown Office spokesman said: "The Procurator Fiscal at Glasgow has received a report concerning a 24-year-old male and a 22-year-old female in connection with an alleged incident on December 22, 2010. The report is under consideration."

A Strathclyde Police spokesman also confirmed a couple have been charged.

Officers were originally called to the Springburn Costco car park in Glasgow on 22 December after Mone phoned police. The business tycoon had been shopping at the store when she saw the baby boy in the car. However, she did not realise he was in the care of the Celtic star.

Mulgrew and Alana, who live in Kirkintolloch, were questioned about the alleged incident by police at the time. They were initially cautioned, then charged under Section 12 of the Children and Young Persons Act. The baby was checked over by paramedics at the time but did not require treatment.

The couple insist that the claims over the toddler have been a "big misunderstanding". Mulgrew and Alana told police they briefly visited the store and kept close watch on the car during that time.