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Scotland fan’s overexuberant celebrations spark three-hour stand off with riot police

Morgan Murray outside court.

A drunken football fan’s overexuberant celebrations when Scotland won a match sparked a three-hour standoff with riot police and negotiators.

Morgan Murray had been watching the Scotland v Czech Republic game at his flat on Glenbervie Road in Torry and got overexcited and vocal when his team won 1-0, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard.

The Nations League win at Hampden came just a month before Scotland beat Serbia on penalties to qualify for a major tournament for the first time in 22 years.

A neighbour called police when the 37-year-old’s noisy celebrations stretched into the early hours.

When officers arrived Murray barricaded himself inside, starting a three-hour standoff that involved a negotiator and riot police being called.

Fiscal depute Sean Ambrose told Aberdeen Sheriff Court: “At approximately 5.20am on October 15 2020, police received numerous calls regarding the accused throwing various items out of the window of his property.”

‘Regrettably, things escalated from there’

Police attended and found a number of vehicles damaged below.

Murray refused to let officers into his property and began acting in a “hostile manner, threatening to kill officers and barricading the door of the property”.

Riot police were dispatched to the scene, along with dog handlers and an ambulance unit.

Mr Ambrose said: “At 7am negotiations commenced and continued for several hours.”

Murray “swung between engaging with negotiators and striking the door”.

At 10.15am “public order officers forced entry to the property without incident”.

Murray pled guilty to charges of vandalism and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.

Defence agent Paul Barnett said his client had stayed out of trouble for around 10 years prior to the incident.

He said Murray had been watching the Scotland match at home and celebrated the win afterwards.

‘You probably thought you could do as you pleased’

He added: “His memory is that one of the neighbours had called the police because of the noise he was making in his property.

“Police attended, and he took umbrage that the neighbour contacted police without speaking to him first. Regrettably, things escalated from there.”

Mr Barnett explained Murray had been struggling with poor mental health at the time, and had also consumed prescription medication.

He added the incident had been “sufficiently shocking” to Murray to prompt him to “completely abstain from alcohol”.

Sheriff Philip Mann told Murray, of Glenbervie Road, Aberdeen: “These are serious offences. It was a prolonged course of conduct and no doubt your mental health contributed to it, but it’s still totally unacceptable.

“I’m quite sure you knew what you were doing. You had taken drink and you probably thought you could do as you pleased and how dare your neighbours take umbrage at you disturbing their sleep and so on.

“You really need to look at that aspect of your behaviour.”

He imposed an eight-month curfew and a year’s supervision as a direct alternative to custody.

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