Tayside and Central Scotland

Aberdeen fans face jail over flares at Dundee United match

Aberdeen fans
Image caption Flares were let off at Tannadice as Aberdeen fans watched their team play Dundee United

Two Aberdeen fans have been told they will "almost inevitably" be jailed after being caught with smoke bombs and flares at a match with Dundee United.

Nicholas Simmers, 29, from Aberdeen, was found with smoke bombs near the Dundee club's Tannadice stadium before the New Year's Day game.

Findlay Duncan, 21, from Inverurie, was arrested after several flares were set off in the Aberdeen end of the ground.

Sentence was deferred on the pair when they appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court.

Fiscal depute Douglas Wiseman said that before the match, which Aberdeen won 2-1, police had been called to the Ambassador Bar following reports that a smoke bomb had been set off.

Simmers was stopped near the ground, where he was found to have three smoke bombs in his possession.

Duncan was arrested inside the stadium after several flares had been let off in the Shed end which was housing the Aberdeen fans.

When police entered the stand they saw him holding a black canister, which he placed under his seat.

He admitted being in possession of a smoke grenade, while Simmers admitted having three flares.

Sheriff Tom Hughes deferred sentence on the pair until later this month.

He told Simmers that the use of flares was "causing considerable panic in sports grounds in Scotland, and it has to be stopped".

Deferring sentence on Duncan, he added: "These matters are taken very seriously by the courts and they will almost constantly carry a custodial sentence.

"This needs to be gotten rid of from Scottish football."

He banned both men from attending football matches until they appear for sentencing, and warned them that they should expect to be subject to a football banning order.

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