Leigh Griffiths fined after admitting booting lit flare into crowd

The footballer was handed a £1,000 fine after admitting the offence during a Dundee v St Johnstone match.

Footballer Leigh Griffiths fined after admitting booting lit flare into St Johnstone crowd during match SNS Group

Former Scotland and Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has been fined £1,000 after he admitted kicking a flare into a crowd at a football match.

The 33-year-old was ordered to pay the fine within seven days when he appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of culpable and reckless conduct at an earlier appearance, the court heard.

Griffiths had flown in from Australia, where he currently plays for Mandurah City, to attend the sentencing.

The court heard Griffiths had been playing for Dundee on loan from Celtic in a game at Dens Park against St Johnstone on September 22, 2021.

Around 4,500 people were in attendance at the match, with around 1,300 St Johnstone fans in the away stand.

Fiscal depute Lora Apostolova said a goal was scored at about 9.10pm and a smoke bomb was hurled on to the field, emitting blue smoke.

“The accused ran towards the area the smoke bomb landed and then kicked the smoke bomb towards where St Johnstone fans were standing,” she said.

She said Griffiths ran 30-40 yards to kick the smoke bomb back into the stand and a fan was struck by it, damaging his jeans. No-one was injured.

Defending Griffiths, lawyer Larry Flynn said the matter required to be discharged in order for the footballer to meet a condition for his Australian visa.

He said Griffiths decided to “take matters in his own hands” and kick the device out of the way to let play continue.

Mr Flynn said there was no malice behind Griffiths’s actions, and he read a statement the player made at the time apologising to fans for his conduct.

In sentencing, Sheriff Way said a “financial penalty” was necessary.

He said Griffiths had already faced “significant” financial penalties after he was fined £15,000 by Celtic, who paid his wages at the time, and a £1,000 fine from Dundee.

He said: “The financial penalty I would have imposed is £1,500. However he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

“I am prepared to accept this was reckless.

“He is trying to make a life for himself in Australia.”

The sheriff imposed a reduced fine of £1,000 to be paid within the next seven days.

Griffiths started his football career at Livingston in 2006, before moving to Dundee in 2009 and then Hibernian in 2013.

He was called up for Scotland in 2012 and moved to Celtic in 2014, where he played until 2020.

He was loaned in Dundee in 2021, before playing for Falkirk in 2022.

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