Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Footballer Garry O'Connor fined after drugs guilty plea

Garry O'Connor training with Hibernian
Image caption O'Connor was given until 23 October to pay the fine

Former Hibs and Scotland striker, Garry O'Connor, has been fined £300 after pleading guilty to possessing cocaine.

He was to stand trial on charges of cocaine possession and attempting to pervert the course of justice by giving police officers a wrong address.

His solicitor told Edinburgh Sheriff Court his client was pleading guilty to the cocaine charge on 2 December 2012, but not guilty to the second charge.

These pleas were accepted by the prosecution.

Scottish cup

Fiscal Depute, Alison Innes, said police officers had been called to Leith Walk "on another matter" at about 22:00 that Sunday night when they saw two men walking away.

"One officer saw the accused (O'Connor) with a bag of white powder in his hand" she said. This later proved to be 0.03g of cocaine.

The arrest came on the same night as the footballer's former team, Hibs, had beaten city rivals, Hearts, 1-0 in a Scottish Cup tie at Easter Road Stadium.

Sheriff Frank Crowe said it had been a very small amount of the drug and Mr Phillips said the value was only a few pounds.

O'Connor, from Longniddry in East Lothian, had left the Edinburgh club to join the Russian side, Tom Tomsk, but that was now over and O'Connor was without a club and had been unemployed for nine months.

He is married with a young family. His client, he added, was unsure as to how the drug came to be in his possession.

The sheriff told O'Connor if the case had gone to trial and he had been found guilty the fine would have been £400, but he reduced that to £300 because of the plea at the earlier stage.

O'Connor was given until 23 October to pay the fine.

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