Ex-Hibs star Garry O’Connor faces jail over breach

Gary O'Connor. Picture: Getty
Gary O'Connor. Picture: Getty
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FORMER Hibs star Garry O’Connor faces a possible jail sentence after dodging community service.

The 30-year-old striker was sentenced to 200 hours after being caught with a Class A drug two years ago.

Last month, he was fined £500 and warned he could go to prison after he failed to carry out the unpaid work.

But now the British Heart Foundation charity shop in North Berwick, where he was working, has told East Lothian Council, which supervises the community payback order, that he has not been turning up for his shifts.

Last month at Haddington Sheriff Court, O’Connor – without a club since last year – admitted failing to attend for community service three times last May and once in June.

He offered a string of reasons for his absences from the shop, including “increased anxiety” because of “prospective employment” issues.

His lawyer, former Partick Thistle player Gerry Britton, said that O’Connor had suffered “a family bereavement and a personal relationship issue” besides his job fears.

Mr Britton added “He accepts the serious nature of the order and accepts the consequences for non-compliance.”

A source close to the charity shop was today quoted saying: “Garry was meant to be doing a few shifts last week but he didn’t turn up.

“He was also due in this week but was a no-show. He’s left the shop in the lurch.

“He’s not given any notice or explanation for his no-shows.

“When he’s been in he’s actually been a good worker and someone you could have a decent conversation with. He was lifting loads of stock up from the basement. He was coming up covered in sweat and said it was like training.”

A council spokesman said: “If an individual is not carrying out the terms of a community service order, the council can seek to take the matter back to court for an appropriate ruling.”

O’Connor’s sentence to 200 hours’ community service came after he was convicted of possessing cocaine and obstructing police officers who spotted him snorting the powder.

He was found guilty of attempting to run away after officers saw him taking the drug in the city centre.