Hibs fan faces jail for knuckleduster at Dundee game

Dens Park Tom McFarlane pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon at Den Park on 17 November 2012

A Hibernian fan caught with a knuckleduster at a match between the Edinburgh side and Dundee has been warned he faces jail.

Tom McFarlane was found with the weapon in the stands at Dens Park stadium after trouble flared between home and visiting fans on 17 November 2012.

At Dundee Sheriff Court, the 24-year-old pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon.

Sheriff Derek O'Carroll continued the case for background reports.

The court heard there were growing tensions between Hibs fans in the away end and home fans sitting in the Derry enclosure shortly after half time when police moved in to quell trouble.

Concealed weapon

McFarlane, from Currie, Edinburgh, was spotted trying to flee the ground - but was stopped and searched by police officers.

They found the knuckleduster concealed in his jacket.

The 24-year-old could now face a jail term; while prosecutors have asked that a football banning order is imposed preventing him from attending matches.

Fiscal depute Isma Mukhtar told Dundee Sheriff Court: "On the date in question an SPL match was taking place at Dens Park.

"Shortly after 16:00 there was an incident in the stadium itself where Dundee supporters and Hibernian supporters became involved in exchanges with one another.

"The accused himself, a travelling Hibs fan, became involved and police had cause to speak with him."

Banning order

Ms Muktar added: "Given the difficulties that had arisen he was stopped by police and detained on an unrelated matter.

"He was searched by the officers and at that time a black knuckleduster was recovered from within his front jacket pocket. He was detained, cautioned and charged.

"It is open to the court to impose a football banning order in this case and the Crown moves for the forfeiture of the knuckleduster."

Sheriff Derek O'Carroll continued the case for social work background reports to a date in March.

McFarlane's bail bans him from entering Dundee except for court dates and bans him from any Scottish football match.

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