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Petition launched to terminate football contract of convicted abuser

Paul Tansey subjected his ex-girlfriend to a ten-month long campaign of domestic abuse

Whitehill Welfare FC urged to Paul Tansey deal after conviction over abuse of Celtic and Scotland star SNS Group

Residents of Midlothian have called for a local football club to terminate the contract of a convicted domestic abuser ‘immediately’ in an online petition.

Paul Tansey, who is the brother of former Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths, subjected his ex-girlfriend Lisa Robertson to a 10-month long campaign of domestic abuse, which included her being assaulted.

Following his conviction in May, the 37-year-old was sacked by his former club, Penicuik Athletic but was signed quietly to Whitehall Welfare FC last month.

A petition has now been launched by residents in the Rosewell community to terminate Tansey’s contract with “immediate effect”. 

It states: “Through this petition, we demand that Whitehill Welfare F.C. terminate the contract of Paul Tansey with immediate effect. 

“The people of Rosewell and the wider Midlothian area do not condone domestic abuse of any form and it is not welcome here amongst this family-oriented community. 

“Local football is a wonderful tradition, but a team cannot possibly support a person who has very deliberately physically and emotionally harmed others with lasting consequences. This community certainly will not.”

Tansey pled guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in May to engaging in a course of conduct which was abusive of his partner between July 2020 and May 2021.

He headbutted Ms Robertson, checked up on her phone use, and repeatedly accused her of cheating.

The abuse also saw Tansey, who is from Dalkeith, repeatedly contact his ex-girlfriend by phone and text, attending at her home uninvited and threatening to self harm when the pair split.

He was given a five year non-harassment order and 80 hours unpaid work.

Last month, Midlothian councillors condemned the club signing Tansey.

Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh said: “Footballers are frequently held up as  role models for young people and placing a domestic abuser in a prominent position of trust is simply inappropriate and plain wrong thinking. 

“This is not where society wishes to go and the club should look seriously at the message they are sending by this appointment. I ask them to reconsider their decision.”

Midlothian council leader, Kelly Parry added: “Allowing the convicted offender to now train with Whitehill Welfare is a shameful decision by the club and it sends a clear message of disregard to domestic abuse survivors across Midlothian and beyond. 

“As a council we condemn this decision and we urge Whitehill Welfare to rethink.”

Whitehall Welfare FC were contacted for comment.

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