Thursday, March 12, 2009

Celtic pitch invader gets jail term and ban

The Scotsman

Published Date: 22 November 2008

A TEENAGE pitch invader who disrupted play during Celtic's Champions League match against Manchester United has been jailed for six months.
John Murphy, 18, was also banned from national and international football matches for five years, one of the longest such orders imposed in Scotland.

Play had to be stopped during the first half when Murphy, from Glasgow, went on to the pitch during the clash at Celtic Park on 5 November.

Murphy, a Celtic fan, admitted breaching the peace and being drunk in a sports ground when he appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court earlier this month.

Last Thursday, Celtic were fined £42,430 by Uefa for the invasion and for the late start to the game, which ended 1-1.

Sentencing Murphy yesterday, Sheriff Linda Ruxton branded his behaviour "dangerous and irresponsible".

She said: "You interrupted a high-profile match and created a situation which might easily have provoked serious public disorder.

"Furthermore, you brought Scottish football generally and Celtic Football Club in particular into disrepute and your behaviour caused the club to be fined a substantial amount."

Defence agent Eddie Robertson said his client had been given a ticket to the match by a friend and was not a Celtic season ticket holder.

He said Murphy had been drinking since about 11am on the day of the game and could not remember anything of the incident. He said his client had written to Celtic Football Club to apologise for his behaviour.
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