FAC. Dion's Story – Guilty Until Proven Innocent.

Fans Against CriminalisationOn 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.

Comments

  1. Where is Celtic’s support for the fans? about time Celtic supported the “supporters” till proven guilty.
    Burns was right when he wrote “Such a parcel o rogues in a Nation”..KILL THE BILL!

    1. Aye Neil the clubs actions in these cases is at the very least regrettable. No one should be banned from games unless they are convicted of a offence.

  2. Agree Jascam,
    Its regrettable, Club should make statement on these things, we give 100% and plough money into them, its needs to be both ways.
    WITHOUT THE FANS FOOTBALL IS NOTHING!

  3. The very least the club should do is issue an apology to Dion and recompense him for the missed matches, distress, inconvenience and embarrassment.

  4. no one wants to hurt the club but if they dont support the fans then the fans will hit them where it hurts until they speak up

  5. Playing catch up.
    Dion’s tale is even more disgusting than Chris’ in the next blog. Guilty till proven Not Guilty is creeping more and more into our judicial system – media look to thyself! I will not hold my breath.
    I agree with all the comments about the club’s behaviour. It is past the time for some sort of reactive support for fans. It is time for the board to make a concerted stance on behalf of supporters and to force this false legislation into touch. Peter Lawwell reacts at break-neck speed to get on the charity bandwagon. It is high time he recognised that these same angels who do so much in that field are the same fallen ones condemned as devils without trial by the club. Finger and out need to be joined together, Peter, and show the same respect for your supporters as they do for you and the club. Otherwise, you may also find yourself in the S.N.P. skip.
    H H

  6. Although I love Celtic and my life revolves around them,I am disgusted at the treatment of a loyal fan. Always should be innocent till proven guilty but sadly the opposite seems to be more true. As a club they should apologize unreservedly . And at the least give some form of re-embersment.
    HH … KTB

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