Tayside and Central Scotland

Man charged over 'hate' websites

A man has appeared in court charged with creating websites where sectarian hate messages were posted about Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

Iain Rooney, 24, from Callander, appeared in private at Stirling Sheriff Court.

He faced three charges on petition, including a breach of the peace and a further breach of the peace with a religious aggravation.

Mr Rooney made neither plea nor declaration during two appearances.

The third charge is a contravention of Section 38 (1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing Scotland Act 2010 with a racial and religious aggravation.

The charge means that he is alleged to have behaved in a threatening or abusive manner.

Mr Rooney, who appeared twice before Sheriff William Gilchrist, spoke only to confirm his name. He was committed for further examination and released on bail.

No dates have been set for his next hearing.

Mr Rooney was arrested on Tuesday as part of a joint operation between Strathclyde Police and Central Scotland Police and the newly formed Football Co-ordination Unit for Scotland.

Update 4 June 2013: Rooney was fined £300 at Stirling Sheriff Court in November 2012 after being found guilty of charges of threatening police officers, and of shouting, swearing and uttering sectarian and racial threats of violence. However, the charges relating to the creation of websites where messages were posted about Mr Lennon were dropped before the case came to court.

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