On the 26th of December 2012 I was enjoying watching my team over the festive period. This came to a quick end when I was wrongly arrested under the Offensive behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications act 2012 and for apparently singing a song supporting a terrorist organisation.
I was held in custody over night, I was then released on bail after denying the charges at Dundee Sherriff Court. As part of my bail conditions I was informed that I could not attend any Celtic away matches until my trial was over. This was terrible news as my life revolved around watching Celtic.
The following day the national newspapers published a story which described the scenes as a ‘disgrace’ and ‘shambolic’ , completely exaggerating what actually happened. My name was printed across several papers with one claiming that I was demonstrating support for terrorist organisations. I then received a letter from Celtic telling me I was banned from all Celtic games until after my trial. This was incredibly hard to take as I was treated as guilty until proven innocent instead of innocent until proven guilty by the club I love and have followed home and away over the years without incident.
I then had to attend court in Dundee on three separate occasions. After making three trips from Glasgow to Dundee and the judge examining all the pieces of evidence they had, producing a not guilty verdict. This was a relief as I knew I had not committed any crime so I was determined to clear my name. I then had to contact Celtic FC to have my season ticket reinstated however during this time I had missed many games that were part of my season ticket, multiple away games and the game in the last 16 of the Champions League against Juventus.
I sincerely hope that the legislation is scrapped when it is reviewed to save any other families and the stress this put me and my own family through at home and also at work.
Dion Mcleish innocent Celtic supporter.
Dion’s statement was transcribed from an audio recording I made at the FAC press conference. It is a correct representation to the best of my knowledge.