A football supporter who threw a flare onto the pitch during a Highland derby has been told to “knuckle down” to avoid jail.
Sheriff Margaret Neilson was told that 21-year-old Brian Emslie had been placed on a community payback order with 200 hours of unpaid community work last week for a string of car thefts.
But the sheriff told Emslie, of Evan Barron Road in Inverness, that she deemed the charge to be “extremely serious” and said she wanted to impose more hours.
By law, she is restricted to a maximum of 300 hours but she felt that Emslie should be punished with more than the remaining 100 hours.
So she deferred sentence until March 22 next year for the forester to carry out as many hours as possible.
At Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday, the sheriff warned him: “It is up to you to knuckle down and get the work done.
“If you have been complying with the order and have completed a sufficient number of hours, then you will possibly avoid a custodial sentence.”
At an earlier hearing, Emslie had admitted a charge of culpable and reckless conduct at the Ross County versus Inverness Caledoniian Thistle match in Dingwall on April 28 by throwing a flare on to the pitch.
Ross County beat the Caley-Jags 4-0 on the day, consigning their local rivals to the brink of relegation.
Fiscal depute Laura Ryan told the court that around 4,500 fans attended the game and there had been a number of misdemeanours.
“They were recorded on CCTV and Emslie was filmed throwing a pyrotechnic on to the pitch,” she said.
When footage was reviewed, he was identified and traced on May 9, before being charged the following month.
Defence solicitor Clare Russell said: “He was previously in the Army but was medically discharged.
“On his return to Inverness, he slid into drug and alcohol misuse and on that day he was disinhibited by alcohol. But that is no excuse.
“He accepts it was dangerous and immature behaviour.”