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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Fan 'racially abused' Celtic star
Craig Bellamy
Craig Bellamy is a Welsh international player
A football fan has been convicted of racially abusing former Celtic player Craig Bellamy.

Kevin Bonar, from Edinburgh, shouted insults at the Welsh player as he watched Hearts play Celtic in April.

Bonar's lawyer argued his actions were not an offence and that the care worker should be cleared.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Sheriff John Baird convicted Bonar, 29, of racially aggravated breach of the peace and fined him 250.

The sheriff called it "flagrant behaviour".

Bonar had been part of the travelling support at the Parkhead match on 2 April, which Hearts won 2-0.

There is no doubt being Welsh is part of a racial group
Sheriff Baird

Midway through the game, Celtic were awarded a corner and Wales international Bellamy, now with Blackburn Rovers, raced across to take it.

Pc Duncan McLeod, who was patrolling near the visiting fans, told the court that he spotted Bonar, who was out of his seat and yelling.

The police officer told the court he believed he had made "a racist comment".

Bonar's defence lawyer, Iain McSporran, asked Pc McLeod what he would have done if Bellamy's ex-team-mate and fellow striker John Hartson had been insulted over his weight or if abuse had been levelled at midfielder Neil Lennon over his red hair.

The Pc said he would have told off the person involved, but would not have arrested him or her as that was not deemed an offence.

Sheriff Baird said: "There is no doubt being Welsh is part of a racial group.

"If you commit an offence and show malice to that group then that justifies that the breach of the peace was racially aggravated."




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