Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Footballer Ryan Thomson admits taxi driver assault

Dunfermline Athletic footballer Ryan Thomson has pled guilty to assaulting a taxi driver by trying to punch him.

Thomson, from Pollok in Glasgow, made the plea mid-way through his trial, before YouTube footage of the incident was shown to the city's sheriff court.

The assault took place in August when a group refused to get out of a taxi on Paisley Road West, after Thomson began arguing with his girlfriend.

The 21-year-old player was ordered to pay fines totalling £500.

Thomson was on trial with his girlfriend Nicola Young, also 21, for assaulting John Reilly.

He fought with Mr Reilly, 50, when he and five others were asked to get out of the people-carrier taxi after the argument started.

Video footage

Miss Young, from Cardonald, Glasgow had her pleas of not guilty to conducting herself in a threatening or abusive manner towards Mr Reilly and to repeatedly punching and kicking him on the head and body accepted.

Thomson admitted charges of assault by attempting to punch Mr Reilly and engaging in a fight with him and wilfully or recklessly damaging his car by repeatedly punching it.

His not guilty plea to acting in a threatening or abusive manner towards Mr Reilly was also accepted.

He was ordered to pay a fine of £200 on the first charge and a compensation order of £300 on the second charge - to cover the cost of the damage to the car.

During the trial, solicitor advocate Liam O'Donnell, defending Thomson, objected to YouTube footage being shown in court and said the Crown had no idea who the author of the video was.

He said: "If you can't prove where the video came from, how can the court rely on it."

But Sheriff Margaret Liddell told the court: "I am going to allow the playing of the footage and clearly I have noted what has been said carefully."

Mr O'Donnell consulted with his client and told the court Thomson would plead guilty to amended charges.

The court heard evidence from Mr Reilly, who said he picked up Thomson, Miss Young and four other friends from a pub on Paisley Road West at about 21:00 on 12 August.

When asked what happened after they left, Mr Reilly said: "We only got 100 yards and it all kicked off in the motor."

Mr Reilly told the court he drove off at traffic lights then pulled in when he got the chance because he wanted them out, then Thomson started kicking the car.

Procurator fiscal depute Lene Doherty, prosecuting, asked Mr Reilly what happened next.

He said: "I went round the other side to stop him doing any more damage to my car. He kind of moved away and the two of us got in to a wee bit of a ruckus.

"The two of us ended up in a wee bit of a grappling match."

He said Thomson threw punches but he dodged them and got back in his car again.

Mr Reilly said Thomson was "shouting and bawling" and punching his car when he drove away.

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