Hearts fan who attacked Neil Lennon handed life ban

Hearts moved quickly to ban the fan held over an alleged attack on Celtic manager Neil Lennon as the football authorities continued to investigate the breach of security at Tynecastle.

John Wilson, 26, of Edinburgh, was handed a lifetime ban from Tynecastle after appearing at a private hearing in Edinburgh Sheriff Court charged with breach of the peace aggravated by religious prejudice and assault aggravated by religious prejudice. No plea was made and he was remanded in custody.

A Hearts statement read: "While not wanting to prejudge the outcome of the court case, all true Hearts fans will have been disgusted by what they witnessed.

"There is no justification for such actions, which have no place in the game of football, and we have taken the severest action open to set the strongest possible deterrent."

The Scottish Premier League and Hearts opened inquiries immediately after the incident in the visiting team's technical area during Celtic's 3-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League win.

Hearts released a statement saying the match was placed in "the highest possible category".

It is understood Hearts had more security on duty than at any other match this season, with 220 stewards - an increase of 25% - and double the normal numbers of police officers.

Hearts are continuing to investigate how the alleged assailant entered the ground, but it is believed he is not a season-ticket holder.

The incident happened after Gary Hooper had put Celtic 2-0 ahead after 49 minutes.

An astonishing melee ensued and the intruder was eventually marched up the tunnel by police but that was not the end of the trouble as some fans in the Celtic section of the ground appeared to fight with stewards and police.

SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster confirmed his organisation's investigation would focus on Hearts' security measures, while also suggesting the process will not be rushed.

He told Sky Sports News: "It's vital we give people the space to give us their thoughts, their input and their responses and we can take any action we deem appropriate at that point."

Any possible sanctions facing Hearts could be influenced by a previous breach of security at their stadium almost exactly two years ago, when Hibernian striker Derek Riordan was confronted by supporters on the pitch.

Hearts escaped with a warning after a fan confronted Riordan after he netted a late winner in an Edinburgh derby.

The club later banned two supporters who admitted breach of the peace in court.

The Scottish Football Association are liaising with their colleagues at Hampden over the matter.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said in a statement: "I reiterate my condemnation of this blight on the image of Scottish football and expect to see robust plans in place to protect players and officials at all times."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the Jurassic World trailer
film

Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early

Environment
The plant ‘Nepenthes zygon’ was donated to Kew in 2004
environmentNepenthes zygon had been growing for almost a decade and helping to keep down cockroaches
News
This artist impression shows a modern-day Atlantis
news
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer snapped celebrities for 40 years - but it wasn’t all fun and games
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital