Ex-Hibs star Derek Riordan fined £800 for homophobic abuse

Riordan: Fined �800 for homophobic remarks. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Riordan: Fined �800 for homophobic remarks. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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FOOTBALL ace Derek Riordan was today fined £800 for hurling homophobic abuse at bouncers who threw him out of a nightclub.

• Ex-Hibs and Celtic footballer Derek Riordan fined £800 for homophobic abuse

• Riordan, 29, shouted at Picture House staff as he was escorted out of the Lothian Road nightclub

The former Hibs ace, 29, abused staff who ejected him from the Picture House venue in Lothian Road, Edinburgh, in May this year.

The city’s sheriff court heard on how Riordan called workers at the club ‘p**fs’ as they threw him out of the entertainment complex.

Staff say they removed the ex Celtic player because he is banned for life from a number of pubs and clubs in the Scottish capital.

But rather than go quietly, Riordan - who is currently playing for Bristol Rovers - started abusing members of staff at the complex with anti gay slurs.

The story emerged at the start of the second day of court proceedings involving Riordan who was on trial for breach of the peace and assault charges.

The ex-Scotland international, of Silverknowes, Edinburgh, decided to plead guilty to a breach of the peace charge before Sheriff Nigel Morrison QC.

Prosecutors agreed to drop the assault charge which alleged that Riordan seized Picture House employee Michael Moore by the throat when he was being thrown out of the club.

Today depute procurator fiscal Gerard Drugan told the court that he had nothing to add to the circumstances surrounding the offence.

Mr Drugan submitted a schedule of previous convictions for Riordan to Sheriff Morrison.

At an earlier hearing Mr Moore told the court that Riordan refused to leave the club.

He told the court that Riordan said: “F**k off. I’m not going anywhere. I’ve not done anything wrong.”

Mr Moore added: “It was an aggressive tone of voice. He was just proceeding to dance. He was drinking beer.

Today defence solicitor Kathleen More told the court that Riordan was sorry for his conduct.

Ms More said that Riordan was unaware that the Picture House venue was part of the consortium of pubs and clubs in Edinburgh which had banned the footballer from entering.

She added: “He is subject to a ban under the Unite Scheme. He has been provided with a list of pubs and clubs in Edinburgh which are part of the scheme.

“However, he was unaware that the Picture House venue was part of the scheme. Venues that are part of the Unite scheme usually have signs above their entrances. The Picture House does not. “

Ms More also said that Riordan had spent the evening of May 7 drinking with pals and had gone onto the Picture House to meet a few friends.

She added: “He was only inside for 15 minutes at the most. He was asked to leave before he had finished his drink.

“He was caused some pain and discomfort when he was being ejected from the venue.

“I am afraid this is what sparked his aggressive behaviour.

“My client is a professional footballer and he has played for a number of prominent football teams in Scotland.

“He currently has a contract up until Christmas for a team in Bristol and he would be able to pay the cost of a fine through his savings.

“The address for Mr Riordan that has been provided to the court is of the family home in Edinburgh. “When he is in Edinburgh he spends most of his time there with his long-term girlfriend and their two children.“

Sheriff Morrison told Riordan that he was satisfied that the matter could be dealt with by financial penalty.

He added: “I am going to impose a fine.”