Scotland: Footballer’s homophobic assault trial begins

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A Scottish footballer “disguised” himself to get into a nightclub and then hurled homophobic abuse at workers who threw him out, a court has heard.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard on Tuesday that Derek Riordan sneaked into the city’s HMV Picture House venue, even though he had already been banned from entering Edinburgh city centre.

STV reports that 31-year-old security worker Michael Moore said he and his colleagues asked the 29-year-old to leave, before Riordan refused to go and spilled a glass of beer over him.

The bouncer told the trial that the footballer repeatedly called the door staff “poofs”.

Riordan appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month to answer breach of the peace and assault charges.

It’s claimed that Riordan, who currently plays for English League Two side Bristol Rovers, tried to grab Mr Moore by the neck as he was ejected from the club onto Lothian Road on 7 May 2012.

Mr Moore told the court: “He started going down the homophobic line. He was shouting ‘poofs’. It was his favourite word of the evening.”

Riordan has pleaded not guilty to assaulting Mr Moore and to a charge of committing a breach of the peace at the venue.

Mr Moore told the court: “The CCTV footage shows that he [Riordan] clearly disguised himself in order to get into the club.”

The trial, which is being heard before Sheriff Nigel Morrison QC, will continue on 23 November.