Two Aberdeen supporters were today handed football bans after they admitted being part of a “serious, major disturbance” ahead of a Scottish Premiership match.
Euan Stevenson and Scott Steppie were part of a mass brawl that erupted outside the Snug Bar, 200 yards from United’s Tannadice Stadium, ahead of the clash on December 13 last year.
Twenty police officers – including mounted police and dog handlers – had to be drafted in to quell the near riot.
A sheriff branded the pair’s behaviour “shocking” and handed them hefty fines as well as banning them from matches for a year.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard the pair were part of a group of up to 65 Aberdeen fans who were monitored on police CCTV as they travelled from Dundee rail station to the stadium.
Fiscal depute John Adams told the court that, having been tracked to the ground, violence erupted in Church Street outside the Snug Bar, which was filled with United fans.
He said: “As they approached scarves and hoods were used to mask faces.
“Accused Scott Steppie was seen to run ahead of the group with another male towards the Snug Bar.
“They were followed by the others.
“As they approached the bar fans of Dundee United confronted the large group of Aberdeen supporters.
“A serious disturbance took place in Church Street with members of both sides seen punching, kicking and assaulting each other.
“Police officers intervened and separated the two groups and a stand off ensued.
“Scott Steppie was seen on CCTV to approach a male and attack him at one point. It appeared to be unprovoked.”
Stevenson, 20, of Cairnfield Place, Aberdeen, and Steppie, 21, of Birkhall Parade, Aberdeen, both pleaded guilty to charges under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act.
Steppie further admitted a charge of assaulting an unknown male by punching him on the head.
Three other fans – Anthony Steppie, 49, of Birkhall Parade, David Gowans, 21, of Woodend Crescent and Kennedy Miskimmons, 39, of Deer Road, all Aberdeen, had their not guilty pleas accepted.
Liam McAllister, defending Steppie, said: “When he saw the CCTV he quite rightly acknowledged his shame for his actions.
“He is the father of two young daughters and has the sole care of them.”
Neil McRobert, defending Stevenson, added: “He is a joiner in full-time employment.
“He has been an Aberdeen fan all his life and has always attended games.”
Sheriff Donald Ferguson fined Steppie £690 and fined Stevenson £750, and imposed Football Banning Orders on both for a period of one year. He said: “This is clearly a serious matter and a major disturbance that saw innocent members of the public caught up in it.
“It is absolutely shocking that we still see this kind of incident at football matches today.
“It was hoped that this kind of thing had been left in the past.
“If there is any repitition of this you will face prison sentences.”
The case comes after three Dundee men admitted identical charges relating to the same incidents.
Lemmy Milne, Alexander Middleton and Grant Fender appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court last week facing charges of being part of a disorderly crowd on the day of the Dundee United v Aberdeen match on December 13 last year.
They are to return to court for sentence next month after admitting the charges.
Cops launched dawn raids on those suspected to be involved in incidents around the match.
Although there was no disorder within Tannadice stadium during the match there were widespread reports of fighting and disorder.