Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Six years on, Ajax fans accused of trouble in Scotland go free

© ShutterstockPost Thumbnail

An international bid to convict football hooligans for a night of violence in Scotland has ended in farce after just two thugs were handed community service orders in Holland.

Dozens of masked ultras supporting Dutch side Ajax wreaked havoc at pubs in the east end of Glasgow in November 2015, hitting Celtic fans and pub staff with iron bars before a European match at Parkhead.

CCTV images showed pub bouncers desperately trying to pull down security shutters to prevent the mob entering the premises.

Neil O’Donnell, boss of The Hoops Bar, was knocked out with a slab of concrete and had to be fitted with a titanium plate in his face, which will be there for life.

The Crown Office in Edinburgh drew criticism for giving up the right to prosecute 15 identified hooligans in a Scottish court, instead passing the files and witness statements to the Dutch prosecution service for them to stage a trial.

However, when proceedings concluded in Amsterdam this week, just two men were convicted over their part in the “riot” and were handed community service orders of 150 and 200 hours.

It means they will do unpaid work in care homes and clean up play parks.

O’Donnell said: “That sentence won’t un-scar my face. This was always a show exercise by the Crown Office.

“As soon as they allowed the case to go to Holland I knew it would never come to anything. It’s a disgrace. They should have been put on trial here.”

No officers travelled to Holland for the trial but three went to Amsterdam in January 2020 to present evidence to an examining magistrate, ahead of this summer’s hearings.

When legal proceedings opened in Holland in June, the Dutch prosecutor said he was not convinced by their evidence against 10 of the accused.

Crown Office embarrassment is compounded by the fact that the Dutch legal authorities have used the end of the trial to criticise Scots prosecutors for the time they took to hand the case over to Holland.

A press statement issued at the end of the trial by The Dutch Courts of Law said: “When determining the penalty, it was taken into account that the handling of the case took a very long time.

“This was partly due to the transfer of the file from Scotland to the Dutch authorities and the pandemic.”

Explaining the reasons for acquitting the remaining 13 suspects, the statement added: “In three cases, although the file raises questions about the role of the suspects during the riots, the evidence is insufficient to determine exactly what their part was.

“Therefore, they should be acquitted. With regard to the last 10 suspects, the court agrees with the Public Prosecution Service and the defence that they should be acquitted because the camera images do not convincingly show that they can be seen in the images of the riots.”

In the November 2015 attacks, dazed victims were left wandering the streets of Glasgow’s city centre. One bloodied fan was found in Central Station, more than a mile away, and couldn’t remember how he got there.

Billy Gold, the owner of the Hielan Jessie pub, in the Gallowgate, which was also attacked, described the night’s events as “violence on an industrial scale”. The 64-year-old said: “Neil [O’Donnell] was treated disgracefully. No-one should go to their work and be assaulted.

“As far as the Crown Office is concerned, jurisdiction should lie where the crime happened. That means they should have been tried here.”

The Crown Office was asked if it felt justice had been served in the case and whether it had taken too long to process it. It declined to comment.