Bo’ness internet troll could face jail

Anthony Stokes
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An internet troll faces jail after admitting threatening Celtic star Anthony Stokes with a “violent act” on Twitter.

Alan Baillie (27) threatened the Dublin-born striker with violence during a conversation about football on the social networking site.

Baillie pleaded guilty to the charge – under the Offensive Behaviour at Football (Threatening Communications Act) – when he appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court.

He admitted posting the threat on his Twitter page on August 7 last year.

The charge said the “material contained a threat to carry out a serious violent act against a person of a particular description”.

It claimed he “did intend to cause fear or alarm” or he was “reckless as to whether he caused fear and alarm” by posting “a threat of violence towards Anthony Stokes”.

Baillie also admitted posting on Twitter the same day “a message that was grossly offensive, or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character”.

The prosecution claimed it was a racially aggravated offence.

On Monday, the Crown accepted his not guilty plea to a third charge of trying to stir up religious hatred with another message on his Twitter page on August 3 and 4 last year.

His solicitor Murray Aitken said: “It is one of these cases which is probably becoming a little more common – a football-related conversation goes too far and he makes these particular remarks.”

Sheriff William Gallacher told Baillie: “Your plea of not guilty to the first charge has been accepted.

‘‘It is unfortunate that that this has taken a long time to get the matter to this stage.”

He deferred sentence on Baillie, of Dower Crescent, Bo’ness, until October 9 for background reports.

Sheriff Gallacher was critical of the time taken by the prosecution to bring the case to court.