Motherwell fan jailed for smokebomb during game

A football fan who set off a smokebomb during a Motherwell match has been locked up for five months.
The incident happened in September 2015. Image: Alan Watson.The incident happened in September 2015. Image: Alan Watson.
The incident happened in September 2015. Image: Alan Watson.

Calum Smith, from Kirkmuirhill, was described in court as an “exemplary” young soldier.

However, the Well fan was criticised by a sheriff who said such “dangerous” actions were on the increase and must be treated seriously.

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Hamilton Sheriff Court heard that Smith (18) was “masked and hooded” when he set off the flare at Hamilton’s New Douglas Park in September last year.

He then changed his clothes in a bid to avoid detection, but his actions were captured on CCTV and he was arrested.

Smith was given bail at court two days later and banned from every regulated football match in the UK until his trial.

He defied that order and turned up at Fir Park for the next derby on January 2.

Smith admitted culpable and reckless conduct which put fellow supporters in danger and breaching the bail order.

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Defence agent Ali Murray said background reports on Smith were “very favourable” and suggested a hefty fine or unpaid community work could be imposed.

Mr Murray said: “My client’s commanding officer is with him in court this morning. He describes him as an exemplary young soldier.

“He will be subject to military discipline after this case.”

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Sheriff Vincent Smith was handed a letter of support from Smith’s superior, but told the accused custody was the appropriate sentence.

He said Smith’s decision to attend the New Year derby at Fir Park in defiance of the stadium ban had “aggravated” the matter. His age and lack of criminal record had saved him from a longer sentence.

The sheriff also imposed a two-year football banning order.

Sheriff Smith told the accused: “Smokebombs are noxious and potentially toxic. They are dangerous to those with respiratory problems, particularly asthma, and there is the very real potential of causing panic in those confined to the immediate vicinity who have no knowledge of what has been ignited.”