Dundee footballer Dale Hilson cleared over ferret row
A Scottish Premier League footballer has been cleared of being involved in an assault in Stirling following an argument over a pet ferret.
Dundee United player, Dale Hilson, 18, of Stirling, was accused along with three friends of assaulting two men on 15 January.
Mr Hilson and David Irvine, 18, were cleared at Stirling Sheriff Court.
They had denied punching and kicking Anthony Lasota and repeatedly kicking Konrad Cyrkler.
Outside court, Mr Hilson, who made his debut for Dundee United when he was 16 and is currently on loan to second division Forfar Athletic, said he was glad the case against him was over.
He said: "It's brilliant. It's been a long time coming."
Not guilty pleas
However, his friends Lewis Turner, 18, and Ryan Aimer, 17, both from Stirling, admitted assaulting Mr Lasota by punching him on the head and kicking him on the body.
Their pleas of not guilty to assaulting Mr Cyrkler were accepted.
The court heard Turner and Aimer approached Mr Lasota in Stirling city centre at about 0130 GMT.
Prosecuting, Brent Bissett told the court: "The complainer was with his friend, who had with him his pet ferret.
"They met the two co-accused in the street, and there was a conversation about the ferret."
He said Aimer and Turner then got into a disagreement with Mr Lasota about the animal, which led to the assault.
Mr Lasota's friend called the police, and Aimer and Turner were arrested.
Harry Coughlin, defending Aimer, and Alistair Ross, representing Turner, both said the assault had occurred because of the disagreement about the ferret.
Sheriff William Gilchrist fined Aimer £190 and Turner £225.