Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Celtic hooligans wreck Dundee United ground

By Andy McInnes

Last night United Chairman Stephen Thompson insisted....that there would be " no repeat " of last season's Title winning scenes after Celtic secured the Championship on Tayside.

Back then,Tannadice officials handed over the stadium to Celtic allowing them control of the PA system as they celebrated three League Flags in a row with a 1-0 win over their hosts.

But the gesture backfired with thousands of pounds worth of damage caused by over exuberant visitors and locals complaining that their ground had been turned into Parkhead.

The Celtic Way

Celtic fan to face court over IRA flag

By Gavin Roberts
Published: 14/05/2009

A FOOTBALL fan who waved an IRA flag at an Old Firm match has been banned for life from Celtic games.

Celtic FC said Peterhead man Aaron Laing would not be welcome to attend any of the Glasgow team’s home or away matches.

The Aberdeenshire 21-year-old enraged fellow supporters after waving a flag with IRA scrawled over the front at last weekend’s Old Firm match.

A Celtic FC spokeswoman today said: “I can confirm the club has banned him for life.”

She added the club would not sell him tickets for away games, but admitted its control over Aaron Laing’s attendance at games outside of Glasgow was limited.

Aaron, from Peterhead, in Aberdeenshire was photographed waving an Irish tricolour as he watched the match at Ibrox, which Celtic lost 1-0.

The Aberdeenshire man claimed the flag did not belong to him and insisted he found it on a seat at the football ground and put it down when he realised IRA was on the front.

It emerged Aaron had been dating Celtic manager Gordon Strachan's niece, Ellis Paterson, 17, the daughter of Grampian Emerald Supporters’ Club president Dave Paterson.

Mr Paterson had said the club did not condone Aaron’s behaviour.

Police in Glasgow were today continuing their investigation into the incident.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Celtic Bigots help deprive Scotland of top-class referees

Hidden away within today's Graham Spiers Game blog is the following:

"There has been something quite disgusting about the treatment doled out to Mike McCurry, the Scottish referee who has just been binned by the SFA, two years before he was due to retire. McCurry, an ordained Baptist minister, has gone from being Scotland's leading referee two years ago to a state of oblivion in football.

First, he has had to endure ludicrous tabloid headlines about his private life, and also, due to his denominational leanings, been repeatedly abused by a section of Celtic supporters. McCurry has made mistakes on the field but his abrupt removal from the SFA list of officials is deplorable."

It is perhaps worth asking why some referees - one could mention the likes of phantom handball Iain Brines, or the consistently atrocious Eddie Smith - seem to escape without the accompanying multi-page spreads and OTT press coverage suffered by McCurry?

They have certainly been involved in multiple, controversial, and completely baffling errors in games involving 'The Old Firm'. Perhaps some 'errors' are more acceptable than others. Perhaps The Times is pointing us in the direction of an answer.

In any case, it may be wishful thinking to believe today's article slating the venomous and long-standing bigotry of the Celtic support is but the first of many, in a style similar to the Telegraph's pursuit of the MPs involved in the scandal over expenses, but it is a start.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Irish anger over IRA flag waving at Old Firm game

Published Date: 13 May 2009
By Staff reporter

THE display of an IRA flag at a weekend 'Old Firm' fixture has been roundly condemned.
A Celtic supporter was pictured at the league fixture against Rangers at Ibrox holding aloft an Irish tricolour with the acronym of the terrorist organisation clearly visible.

The defiant gesture is the latest sectarian incident to mar a game between the 'Old Firm' Glasgow rivals.

In March, at the Scottish League CIS cup final between the two sides, Celtic supporters were accused of taunting rival fans with empty pizza boxes in a sickening reference to the murder of two soldiers at Massereene Army barracks earlier this year.

Sports Minister Gregory Campbell then confirmed he would write to his counterpart in the Scottish administration calling for firm action against such sectarian actions.

The latest episode is a prominent topic of debate in online fans' forums and it was claimed by a Scottish-based newspaper that the offending fan is currently dating a niece of Celtic manager Gordon Strachan.

Ulster-based Rangers supporters responded to the way sectarian undercurrents were being highlighted.

Colin Gray from the Bannview supporters' club in Banbridge believes the misdemeanours on the blue half of Glasgow have appeared in the past to generate more adverse coverage.

"This behaviour happens every week. The Celtic fans are synonymous with singing IRA songs, but it never seems to be ever mentioned," he said.

"Rangers have been hammered from pillar to post over the past six years, but it only seems to be a one-way street.

"If a Rangers fan goes into a ground with an Ulster flag, then it gets blown out of proportion.

"It comes from the very top of Scottish football and there doesn't seem to be anything done about it."

Admitting there is a "hardcore small minority" on the Rangers terraces intent on stoking up sectarian tensions, the 21-year-old believes relations off the pitch are not as sinister as in the past.

"I think things are getting better. At the end of the day you are there to support the team, not a paramilitary organisation. No matter what your political beliefs are they should not be coming onto the field of play," he added.

A Celtic spokesperson confirmed the club was aware of the incident and said the club does not "tolerate sectarian behaviour".

The offending fan is expected to be barred from future club fixtures.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The truth behind Grampian Emerald Celtic Supporters’ Club

Last night Ellis’s dad David Paterson — Strachan’s brother-in-law and president of the Grampian Emerald Celtic Supporters’ Club — said that they had taken a dim view of Laing’s behaviour.

He said: “We are a family club, we encourage youngsters to come along and we absolutely do not condone this sort of thing.”

He said he was “very sorry” his daughter “had been caught up in all of this”, and added: “It’s not a surprise because of the family’s connection with Gordon Strachan.”

Oh really?

The IRA formed ‘flying columns’, mobile units each composed of around 35 men, serving for up to a week at a time. Tom Barry, a Great War veteran and Commandant of the West Cork Brigade, led a particularly active flying column:

Here's some of the jolly craicsters of the Grampian Emerald CSC

Here's his daughters bebo, note several sectarian slogans.

Celtic fan "Anzie" outed as a 'Liar and a Bigot'


THE yob caught waving an IRA flag at Ibrox exposed HIMSELF as a liar yesterday after boasting he DID make the offensive banner.

Clown ... Laing gives us the finger in Peterhead
Shamed Aaron Laing, 21 — who IS dating Gordon Strachan’s niece — was captured holding an Irish tricolour with the terrorist group’s name on it.

He later tried to claim he found the flag and told The Scottish Sun he had split from Ellis Paterson, 17, daughter of Celtic manager Strachan’s sister Laura.

But yesterday he boasted about making the banner in a vile rant on an internet messageboard — and insisted he was still with Ellis.

And he then did ANOTHER U-turn when he tried to stand by his earlier claim that he had nothing to do with the flag outrage — despite his online confession.

The unrepentant bigot bragged on an unofficial Hoops messageboard: “It was my flag, I made it and I’ll fight it all the way if anything comes from it. The flag has no reference to any terrorist organisation.”

He then insisted he is still going out with Ellis — despite telling our reporter that they broke up months ago.

He wrote: “No f***ing red top is going to split us up over this.”

But two-faced Laing later broke down sobbing as he continued to claim the flag which sparked the furore didn’t belong to him.

He said: “It was on the seat next to me — I held it up and as soon as I realised, I put it down. I am ashamed of myself.

“It was a drunken mistake. I’m far from a thug.

“I’d like to say sorry to my girlfriend and her family.”


Despite his claims he wasn’t a thug, the lout had earlier blasted the club for banning him and attacked Celtic chairman John Reid in his foul web rant.

Using his username Henrik7CFC — after Hoops idol Henrik Larsson — he wrote: “Maybe the media should do some research on what the flag means rather than branding me a sectarian bigot.

“I am a republican and a Celtic fan. If they want to leave politics at the door they shouldn’t have John Reid as the chairman.

“There was no crime committed here so we shall see what happens.

“They are trying very hard to ruin my life but they won’t succeed.

“Yes, a silly thing to do was to hold up that flag but it wasn’t a crime as the police would have arrested me. I won’t be broken you b*******.”

His comments — posted under the heading ‘Celtic to ban banner bigot’ — were later removed by admin on the site. Laing, of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, was snapped grinning as he waved the flag during Rangers’ 1-0 Old Firm win on Saturday.

Celtic launched an investigation but were left red-faced when the yob was identified as dating a relative of Hoops boss Strachan.

Last night Ellis’s dad David Paterson — Strachan’s brother-in-law and president of the Grampian Emerald Celtic Supporters’ Club — said that they had taken a dim view of Laing’s behaviour.

He said: “We are a family club, we encourage youngsters to come along and we absolutely do not condone this sort of thing.”

He said he was “very sorry” his daughter “had been caught up in all of this”, and added: “It’s not a surprise because of the family’s connection with Gordon Strachan.”

Police said they are investigating the incident after receiving a complaint. A spokeswoman added: “Inquiries are continuing.”

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Anzie" Timeline

Saturday May 9th 2009
Celtic fan pictured at Celtic end of Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow waving IRA banner

Sunday May 10th 2009
Parkhead chiefs vowed to deal with the ned.
A Celtic spokesman said: “If identified as a season ticket holder, this individual will be treated in the strongest terms and banned for life.”

Tuesday May 12th
Celtic/IRA supporter revealed as Aaron "Anzie" Laing, 21, the boyfriend of Ellis Paterson, the daughter of Celtic manager Gordon Strachan's sister.

Daily Record has quotes from people who know Aaron "Anzie" Laing.
"I'm told Anzie has become a regular on the bus but most folk reckon he's a bit of a p***k.
"He's a loudmouth and wears pro- IRA T-shirts. I saw him at the last game at Pittodrie and he was wearing an IRA T-shirt that said, 'Undefeated Army'.

The Scottish Sun has a quote from Aaron claiming “Even though I’m ashamed about it, it’s not a sectarian flag. The British Army are a lot worse than that.”

He added: “I was very drunk. I found the flag at the side of the seat.
“It was a moment of drunken stupidity. I regret it completely. I’m ashamed.
“I shouldn’t have picked it up, but in the heat of the moment I did."

Hours later On Celtic supporters site Aaron "Anzie" Laing admits to painting IRA flag and taking it to Ibrox.

Celtic IRA banner man is dating Gordon Strachan's niece

May 12 2009 By Charlie Gall

THE moron who waved an IRA flag in the crowd at Saturday's Old Firm game is dating Celtic manager Gordon Strachan's niece.
Aaron "Anzie" Laing, 21, is the boyfriend of Ellis Paterson, the daughter of Strachan's sister.
Decent Old Firm fans united to slam Laing after he brandished the IRA banner in the away section at Ibrox. And the bigot is now facing a life ban from watching the Hoops.
A Celtic insider told the Record: "The club will not tolerate sectarian behaviour and it's safe to say that he won't be back at Celtic Park."
Laing travelled to the Old Firm clash from Aberdeen on the supporters' bus run by the Grampian Emerald Celtic Supporters' Club.
Ellis's dad David, the husband of Strachan's sister Laura, is president of the club.
And he confirmed last night that Laing will no longer be welcome on the bus.
"He has embarrassed everybody," said David, 46.
"He will not be travelling with us again, that's for sure. Without any doubt, he's finished.
"I have already spoken to the bus convener to make sure he's no longer welcome. He won't be taking any more part in the Grampian Emerald."
Strachan, who is well known for his contempt for sectarianism, is close to David and Laura and speaks to them regularly.
His wife Lesley was a bridesmaid when David, a former footballer who played for Highland League side Huntly, married Laura in 1984.
And the Hoops boss was among the guests when David and Laura's eldest daughter, Kayleigh, got married in Aberdeen two years ago.
David, who didn't travel to Saturday's match, stressed that Laing is not a member of the Grampian Emerald.
He added: "I don't know where he got his ticket for the game. Ibrox is one of the easier places to get a ticket because 8000 are made available to Celtic fans.
"I knew him better when he was a lot younger. He used to come on the bus and, yeah, he was a bit of a ned then."
Asked about Laing's relationship with Ellis, David said: "Once upon a time they were close. I don't envisage seeing him again.
"My daughter was down at the game on Saturday."
Ellis has described Laing as "The best" and says she is happiest when "watching Celtic with Aaron".
She and Laing sat next to each other on the Emerald supporters' bus on Saturday but it's not clear whether they were sitting together at the game.
One Celtic fan who was on the bus said: "They were holding hands on the way to the ground.
"I'm sure Ellis's dad would prefer it if she dumped him but you can't pick your daughters' boyfriends for them.
"Laing's a bit of a headcase, a clown, and he gets worse the more he drinks.
"A lot of the boys don't like him because he can be a bit wild with a drink in him."
Another fan added: "Laing appeared on the scene a couple of years back, then I noticed he was going out with Ellis.
"I don't know what her dad will have to say about this. Ellis will be devastated if Davie tells her to drop him. She's only 17 and Aaron is her first love."
The fan added: "I'm told Anzie has become a regular on the bus but most folk reckon he's a bit of a p***k.
"He's a loudmouth and wears pro- IRA T-shirts. I saw him at the last game at Pittodrie and he was wearing an IRA T-shirt that said, 'Undefeated Army'.
"He annoys a lot of people on the bus with his drunken behaviour but people don't say anything because he's going out with Davie Paterson's lassie."
Another Grampian Emerald regular said: "He's bound to be banned from the supporters' club after this. It's a bit embarrassing for Davie, who everyone knows is Strachan's brother-in-law.
"I don't think anyone on the Emerald bus will be crying over Laing if he gets the heave-ho."

Celtic IRA yob admits to taking flag to game

See for the full confession.
Aaron "Anzie" Laing goes under the alias of henrik7cfc.

Celtic IRA yob claims to have found flag on seat

THE shamed boyfriend of Gordon Strachan’s niece was banned by Celtic for life yesterday for waving an IRA flag at the Old Firm game.

Yob Aaron Laing, 21, was hammered by the Hoops after he was captured holding an Irish flag with the terrorist group’s name scrawled on it.

And last night, after hearing of the club’s ban, the lout fan said: “Well, that’s my life over, then.”

Laing, of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, has been dating 17-year-old Ellis Paterson — daughter of Celtic manager Strachan’s sister Laura, 42.

The grinning yob was photographed waving the banner as he watched Saturday’s match at Ibrox.

Furious Hoops chiefs vowed to ban the thug. But they were left red-faced when the lout was identified — it was discovered he’d been dating Strachan’s relative.

Manager ... Gordon Strachan
Last night one source said: “Laing goes all over Scotland and Europe to see Celtic.

“His girlfriend’s dad Davie Paterson is married to Gordon Strachan’s sister and gets tickets for the games from the Celtic manager.


“He goes on the Grampian Emerald Celtic supporters’ bus regularly and there will be people on that bus totally ashamed at what he has done.

“It’s a complete embarrassment for the supporters’ club and I would imagine Gordon Strachan and Celtic won’t be too happy about it.”

Last night shamed Laing claimed the stunt was “drunken stupidity” after finding the flag beside his seat.

Laing said he travelled alone on the train to the match and bought the ticket from a tout outside the ground.

And he even claimed his antics were not sectarian.

Dating ... Laing with Strachan's niece Ellis
He said: “Even though I’m ashamed about it, it’s not a sectarian flag. The British Army are a lot worse than that.”

He added: “I was very drunk. I found the flag at the side of the seat.

“It was a moment of drunken stupidity. I regret it completely. I’m ashamed.

“I shouldn’t have picked it up, but in the heat of the moment I did. He confirmed he’d been dating Ellis but claimed they had split up.

He said: “We had a thing quite a while ago but that has been finished for months.”

Last night Parkhead chiefs refused to comment. But a Parkhead insider said the yob had been banned for life.

The source said: “The club does not tolerate this type of behaviour.”

Ellis’s Bebo site displays the IRA slogan Tiocfaidh ar la or Our Day Will Come.

Last night her family refused to comment at their home in Aberdeen.

Celtic vow to ban their Bigot fan

CELTIC last night vowed to hammer this sectarian yob who flaunted an IRA banner at Saturday’s Old Firm clash.

The lout waved an Irish tricolour with the terrorist slogan scrawled across it in black marker pen.

He was captured on camera grinning as he watched the game — which Rangers won 1-0 thanks to a Steven Davis goal — from Ibrox’s Broomloan Stand.

Last night Parkhead chiefs vowed to deal with the ned.

A Celtic spokesman said: “If identified as a season ticket holder, this individual will be treated in the strongest terms and banned for life.”

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mark Walters talks about debut at Celtic Park

A black day for Scots football

The Scotsman
30 December 2007


Bananas greeted Mark Walters on his Rangers debut at Parkhead 20 years ago
MEMORIES do not always marry with the moments they capture.

When it comes to Mark Walters and his Rangers debut in the Old Firm derby exactly 20 years ago this Wednesday, that may be deliberate.

"It was a good day for me; a special one," recalls Walters, who signed for the Ibrox club from Aston Villa in a £1.3m deal on New Year's Eve 1987. "It was a great experience to play my first game for one of the biggest clubs in the world in front of 50,000 at Parkhead – the largest crowd I'd known since earning a schoolboy cap for England. I have shut out anything other than the positives of that day, because it was so exciting to make a fresh start at 23, after two years when my career was on the slide."

On January 2, 1988 Walters became the first black player to turn out for Rangers.

The abuse he was subjected to that day, and at Tynecastle two weeks later, ended any foolish notion that, while Scottish football was blighted by religious bigotry, it was at least immune to the vile expressions of racial intolerance then infecting the English game.

Whenever Walters' name is mentioned in this county these two afternoons are seared in the mind. They have come to define the winger's three-and-a-half years north of the Border; more than his artistry, more than a stash of medals or a goals to games average of one-in-three during his 100 matches.

"People ask me how on earth I could get through that first game and enjoy it," says the player, who made little impression that day as Rangers were beaten 2-0. "To be honest with you, being abused wasn't that much of a rarity in Britain at that time, even if it was more than I was used to.

"I am single-minded. I was brought up by my family to see every experience as to be welcomed because you can always learn from it what you need to be better for it."

Scottish football did not demonstrate such insight – either in terms of the authorities or the media. Clips on YouTube make plain the grim extent of the monkey noises and banana throwing Walters' presence at Celtic Park prompted.

Yet, though Celtic slammed the perpetrators, the Scottish Football Association remained silent. And oddly, in the press over the days that followed, there was scant acknowledgement of a virulent new strain of racism at football in this country.

It was just viewed as another manifestation of the contrariness that Old Firm hatred spews forth. "Only a handful of fans hurled fruit," said a comment piece in the Sunday Mail.

The match reports in The Scotsman and the Glasgow Herald made no reference to the treatment received by Walters. Indeed, the most vociferous condemnation of those who indulged in racist behaviour came in the form of letters printed in Celtic's own newspaper that week.

It wasn't simply in the written press that the issue was skirted around. Archie Macpherson, in his commentary for the BBC, was forced to explain a stoppage to clear bananas from the Celtic Park pitch. He did so by stating, matter-of-factly: "The game has been slightly held up… some assortment of fruit has been removed… you can see it in front of the Jungle."

Two weeks later, Rangers faced Hearts at Tynecastle and Walters was struck by a banana and was met with what the Glasgow Herald described as "deluge of fruit" (contrasting with the "mild outburst of fruit throwing" a fortnight earlier). On television that evening Macpherson famously held up a banana and stated what he had witnessed "made him ashamed to be Scottish".

Macpherson puts down the difference in tone to the obsession with picking away at the sectarianism woven into the fabric of the Old Firm rivalry. Throughout his long career, at least he is one of the few who can claim to have an admirable record on denuding those who would clothe themselves in such tawdry dress.

"There is a conditioning process with these derbies," he says. "We would listen out for sectarian chanting, scan for any disturbances in the crowd and consider the possible implications for public order if there were any violent incidents on the field. Racial taunting didn't enter my head as a contentious issue. I had been brainwashed by the religious divisions. I do not say this as an excuse for failing to acknowledge the infamous nature of banana-throwing but merely as explanation.

"On reflection, I should have been more vocal about it, as I have always been vocal about the other evil aspects that have attached themselves to this fixture. I, wrongly, saw the banana-throwing as in essence puerile; an insipid form of the Celtic support's capacity for a wind-up, at which they are the best in the business. If more had been made of Walters' treatment at Celtic Park, he might not have had to put up with so much at Tynecastle."

It is the very collision of sectarianism and racism that probably left the SFA and the media in a quandary over how to react to the abuse suffered by Walters. The governing body could hardly punish a club for their fans' racist actions when they had never dared bring followers of any side to book for any bigoted behaviour. Equally, how could the issue be highlighted in print without similar weight being given to the fact that, then, Rangers were still 18 months away from a first high-profile Catholic signing in the modern era?

To this day, predictably, there remain pathetic attempts to point-score among the followers of the Glasgow clubs over how much baiting Walters received. Gerry Britton was on the ground staff at Celtic back in 1988. Now manager of Stranraer and a leading figure in the Scottish Professional Football Association – work that involves schools' education programmes on sectarianism and racism – his testimony cannot be disputed.

"It was one of the very few days I fell out with fans of the club I grew up loving," Britton says. "It was bad enough having to hear it, and hearing that a fruit shop near the ground sold out of bananas, but it was truly sickening when our job the day after the game was to clear them away. There were dozens of them, scattered everywhere."

The mood in the country changed following Walters' treatment at Tynecastle, which came after he had made incident-free appearances against Dundee and Morton. SFA president David Will said all would be done to stamp out racism with the hope that "sensible supporters will let the minority know they shouldn't be so stupid in the future".

Hearts chairman Wallace Mercer condemned the banana-throwing as "intolerable social behaviour" and that his club "must be seen to take a stand against racism". Rangers also spoke out, operations executive Alistair Hood demanding the SFA act to "cease" "this kind of despicable behaviour".

"Mark Walters was struck by a banana and no matter how you look at it, this is missile throwing," Hood said.

In forcing Scotland to confront latent racial prejudices 20 years ago, Walters made life at least a little easier for the black players who followed him within these borders. Yet, the treatment meted out to Celtic's Paul Elliott only 18 months later, and the fact that since the turn of this century racist abuse directed towards Hamilton's Brian McPhee, Celtic pair Bobo Balde and Momo Sylla and Rangers' Marvin Andrews has resulted in court cases, suggests as a nation we are not as mature as we would like to believe. As does what happened to Paul Omoniyi, taunted with monkey chants while playing for West Park United under-11s in Dunoon in October 2005 – a case highlighted by this newspaper.

"I am not so shallow as to believe I made a real difference," Walters says. "If it hadn't been me it would have been someone else. If I made one person realise it is wrong to abuse a person because of the colour of their skin, that is something. But football reflects society. Prejudice is based on ignorance and many of those guilty of it have probably become educated because we live in a more ethnically diverse country. As well as that, there are laws now in place and CCTV cameras at all grounds. That means supporters just can't get away with the same abuse and behave at games as they might have done years ago. People might still say and do things in private, but in public..."

It is depressing to think that enforcement as much as enlightenment might account for Walters being the only black footballer in this country to have had bananas thrown at them.

Mark Walters joined Rangers from Aston Villa for £1.3m on December 31 1987 to become the first black player to play for the club. He was signed by Ibrox manager Graeme Souness.

He made his debut against Celtic at Celtic Park two days later, a match Rangers lost 2-0. During the game Walters was subjected to monkey chanting and some Celtic fans threw bananas on the pitch.

Gerry Britton, then on the groundstaff at Celtic, was one of the apprentices charged with clearing the bananas from the pitch the following day. "It was truly sickening," he recalls. "There were dozens of them, scattered everywhere."

Sick and depraved

EIGHT monsters committed a sickening catalogue of depraved child porn and abuse crimes as part of a vile paedophile network.
The fiends were yesterday convicted of a string of horrific offences — including sex attacks on a baby and toddler — and face years in prison.

They were snared at various locations across Scotland after being traced by police through their sordid internet chats.

Convicted sex offender Neil Strachan — who is HIV positive, and gay rights campaigner James Rennie, 38, were found guilty of shocking attacks on children.

The evil pair, from Edinburgh, were also convicted of plotting to abuse youngsters along with three other members of the gang.

Divorced Strachan, 41, and Rennie now face life sentences after a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh found them guilty.

Bank teller Ross Webber, 27, of North Berwick, East Lothian, insurance claims adjuster Craig Boath, 24, of Dundee, and John Milligan, 40, from Glasgow, were nailed with them for plotting to turn their sick abuse fantasies into reality by arranging access to young children to carry out acts of gross sexual abuse.

Church elder Neil Campbell, 46, of Glasgow, was cleared of conspiracy. But all six, along with IT administrator Colin Slaven, 23, of Edinburgh, and gay sauna worker John Murphy, 44, of Glasgow, were found guilty of charges relating to child pornography.

It is the first time that a conspiracy charge has been used successfully in Scotland to nail a gang of perverts.

They plotted, using web cameras or by phone, to participate in horrific sexual offences, including rape and sodomy.

Nearly 125,000 indecent images were seized during Operation Algebra, which uncovered the group, believed to be Scotland’s biggest paedophile network.

Strachan, who worked with a Celtic boys club, and Rennie faced charges of abusing three young victims in this case. Strachan was convicted of attempting to rape an 18-month-old boy in Edinburgh on New Year’s Eve in 2005.

The chilling attack was captured in a photograph.

Strachan was also found guilty of repeatedly touching a six-year-old boy indecently on the same night while he was asleep.

Rennie — who was at the time, the outwardly respectable boss of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth Scotland (LGBT) — was convicted of molesting a boy for more than four years.

The catalogue of abuse started when the child was only three-months-old.

Gay youth worker Rennie circulated photos of the abuse and offered the child to other perverts during internet chats.

He also allowed civil servant Milligan to listen in over the phone while he abused the little boy.

And Strachan, who has already served a prison sentence for child abuse, joined Rennie to molest the tot at Rennie’s flat in Meadowbank area of Edinburgh, when the little boy was between one and three years old.

Milligan, a prolific distributor of child porn with more than 78,000 photos and video clips in his vile stash, discussed getting his hands on the child and passed on images of Rennie’s abuse to others. Rennie also used a computer link at the LGBT centre in Leith to access child porn.

All eight accused were convicted of possessing and making indecent images and seven of them were found to have distributed images. A charge of distribution against Slaven was withdrawn by the Crown.

All the offences were committed in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and East Lothian during various periods from February 2004 to May 2008.

It is now hoped the probe could spark a new investigation which could uncover a massive international paedo ring.

Police have already identified 70 men across Britain and overseas with links to the gang, almost 50 of whom have been arrested or are under investigation.

DI Stuart Hood, senior investigating officer, believes thousands of beasts could be snared.


He said: “It is impossible to predict how many could be identified worldwide.”

The massive probe into the paedophiles began two years ago when Strachan tried to get his laptop fixed.

Police were called in after a picture of a naked boy was found on the paint machine engineer’s computer. It also contained a folder called “young boys”. Cops believe Strachan forgot the horrific images were on the laptop.

Police then used Strachan’s email and forum names to track down other monsters.

Parents of the abused children were in court to hear the verdicts.

Speaking afterwards, Det Supt Allan Jones, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: “This case was one of the biggest and most challenging ever investigated by the force and represented the largest paedophile network dismantled in Scotland.

"As the investigation unfolded it revealed a web of people who had a common interest in child sexual abuse.

“They made initial contact via the internet and used it to share vile imagery and discuss the abuse of children.”

He added: “Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families who have gone through untold trauma as a result of these despicable acts.”

Morag McLaughlin, area procurator fiscal for Lothian and Borders, said: “All of those involved in the investigation and prosecution of the case have been profoundly affected by it.”

A spokesman for LGBT Youth Scotland said: “We are appalled by the abuse and exploitation of children by James Rennie, and wholeheartedly welcome his conviction.”

Friday, May 1, 2009

Celtic slop house closed for sectarian singing and fighting

A PORT Glasgow pub’s drink licence was suspended yesterday after alleged rioting at the premises, including one incident after an Old Firm game.

Inverclyde Licensing Board took the action against Monty’s Bar following a complaint by police. The premises in Bay Street were badly damaged by fire last month.

A letter from Strathclyde Police was read to the board detailing two incidents in March. Around 1.20am on Sunday 8 March, a large number of customers from the bar were involved in a large-scale disturbance in John Wood Street. Ten people were arrested for mobbing and rioting. Two reported serious assaults are also being investigated.

Later that week, the bar’s manager informed police that a ‘rebel-oke’ was to take place at Monty’s on Sunday 15 March after the CIS Cup Final between Rangers and Celtic and that they expected the premises to be very busy. As a result, the clerk to the licensing board advised the licensee to cancel the ‘rebel-oke.’

Around 11.40pm on Sunday 15 March police became aware of a disturbance within Monty’s. Inside they were met by several customers who were drunk and confrontational. The floor was wet, with a large amount of broken glass and blood-staining.

Police established there were only two members of staff and no door stewards. Officers felt the staff were not in control and decided to close the pub on public safety grounds.

Police became aware of patrons trying to leave with alcohol and, while trying to prevent this, an officer suffered a large cut to his hand from a smashed glass when a man struggled with him.

Following the incident, police are investigating an alleged assault, culpable and reckless conduct and two people were reported for riotous behaviour.

The Chief Constable took the view that the incidents were because of a lack of experienced staff and no stewarding.

No one was at the board meeting on behalf of Monty’s. The board was told that a "rebel-oke" was "sectarian chanting or singing"

The licence was suspended until 1 September, when the licence expires. Board chairman David Wilson said: "We are unanimous in our decision.

"This will send out a message that we are not going to tolerate it and if we are told by police it is happening elsewhere we will act."

Robert Moran said "I would like to see the chairman and police superintendent write to licensed premises across Inverclyde saying that we expect the highest standards.

"We need to send out a clear message that we expect well staffed premises with enough stewards when Old Firm games are being televised."
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