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RIOT CASUALS SHAME SCOTS; Sheriff in blast at street battle yobs Exclusive.

Byline: By Andrew Walker

THREE thugs who fought running street battles after a derby football match were yesterday told they shamed Scottish fans.

A court heard the battles brought terror to one of Edinburgh's busiest streets, with innocent passers-by being hit by bottles and other missiles.

Steve Langley, 39, David Whiteman, 30, and 36-year-old Stephen Amos, who all had previous convictions for similar offences, admitted breach of the peace.

Seven other men, including notorious Hibs casual James Girvan, who was once convicted of a CS gas attack in a nightclub, had not guilty pleas accepted.

Edinburgh sheriff Mhairi Stephen told Hearts thug Langley, Rangers hooligan Wightman and Hibs casual Amos they had shamed Scottish football.

She added their behaviour showed that age was no indication of sense or maturity. She said: ''It hought Scottish fans took pride in their behaviour. This does not do any credit to you or to your sport.

''Visitors to the city expect to be able to enjoy themselves instead of being faced by hooligans like you acting in this manner.''

The riot in Lothian Road came after Hearts had beaten Hibs at Tynecastle on August 11, 2002.

Hibs and Hearts casuals clashed with each other while Rangers yobs who were lurking in a nearbypubalsojoinedtheviolence.

She told them she would be contacting the clubs supported by Langley, of Logie Green Gardens, and Amos, of Home Street, both Edinburgh, and Wightman, of Progress Drive, Caldercruix, Lanarkshire.

They could then decide what action to take against them.

A police source said yesterday two police officers had respondedto a 999 call when the fighting erupted.

He added: ''They were vastly outnumbered and found it a very frightening experience.''

Officers used CS spray and their batons to try to break up the fighting as back-up arrived.

Two men were arrested at the time and fined pounds 500, while a later police swoop led to 10 more arrests.

Langley'snamewaspassedtothe Record last year as we highlighted an upsurge in football violence.

Langley is a Hearts thug but is also linked with Rangers hooligans and a close friend of Raymond McNulty, a well-known casual who was one of the seven whose not guilty pleas were accepted yesterday.

Sergeant Stevie Dolan, who arrested the men, said: ''There is no doubt this was serious and organised football hooliganism. We will not tolerate it.''

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FREE: Notorious casual Girvan
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 23, 2004
Words:394
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