Footballer Derek Riordan 'disguised himself to get into nightclub'

Court: O'Connor appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Wednesday.
Court: Riordan is on trial over the incident at HMV Picture House in Edinburgh.© Deadline

Former Hibernian footballer Derek Riordan disguised himself to get into a nightclub before hurling homophobic abuse at workers, a court heard.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard on Tuesday that the player sneaked into the city’s HMV Picture House venue.

Michael Moore, who works as the facility’s head of security, told the court that Riordan defied a ban stopping him from entering Edinburgh nightclubs.

Mr Moore, 31, said he and his colleagues asked the forward to leave, before Riordan refused to go and spilled a glass of beer over him. The bouncer told the trial that the footballer repeatedly called the door staff "p**fs".

The court heard that Riordan, who currently plays for English League Two side Bristol Rovers, tried to grab Mr Moore by the neck as he was ejected from the venue onto Lothian Road on May 7 this year.

Mr Moore told the court: "He started going down the homophobic line. He was shouting 'p**fs. It was his favourite word of the evening."

He was giving evidence on the first day of the trial of Riordan, of Silverknowes Hill, Edinburgh. The Scotland cap has pleaded not guilty to assaulting Mr Moore and committed a breach of the peace at the venue.

Mr Moore told depute procurator fiscal Gerard Drugan a number of colleagues found Riordan on the club's dance floor. They asked him to leave but the footballer became aggressive, the court heard. Mr Moore said Riordan responded to the bouncers: "F**k off. I'm not going anywhere. I've not done anything wrong."

The bouncer added: "It was an aggressive tone of voice. He was just proceeding to dance. He was drinking beer. The beer was spilling all over myself. I am unsure whether this was deliberate." Mr Moore then said he and his colleagues took Mr Riordan by the arms and led him from the nightclub, taking him down a flight of stairs that was used as a fire exit.

Mr Moore told the court: "The CCTV footage shows that he (Riordan) clearly disguised himself in order to get into the club." When defence solicitor Kathleen More asked Mr Moore whether he and his colleagues inflicted injuries on her client, the bouncer replied: "Absolutely not. He appeared to have no injuries on him."

The trial, which is being heard before Sheriff Nigel Morrison QC, will continue on November 23 this year.