Saturday 16 December 2017

I’m still baffled at court decision, says Celtic boss Lennon

GLASGOW Celtic manager Neil Lennon is still shocked and confused by a court decision to clear the man accused of attacking him on the pitch

Hearts fan John Wilson was last week cleared of a sectarian assault on Lennon at a Premier League game at Tynecastle in May.

Wilson told the court that he had lunged at Lennon and struck him on the head during the shocking incident.

But the jury at Edinburgh Sheriff Court said the charge was not proven.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell later said: “Most people will be baffled and find it difficult to comprehend the judgment and verdict”.

Lennon, however, maintained a silence in the aftermath.

He broke that today, though, telling Scotland’s the Daily Record: “To be honest I’ve still not got my head round it.

“I needed to take time out and get away from everything because obviously the jury’s decision was a shock and confusing.

“It didn’t make me consider getting out because I enjoy what I do.

“I wouldn’t criticise the prosecution for pursuing the religious element of the charges.

“They were just doing their job.

“It was left to the jury to decide and the jury found it not proven.

“That is the way the justice system is and I just have to accept it.”

But added: “The public reaction since the verdict has been heartening.

“Eminent people have given their opinions on it and it’s nice to have that sort of backing, to know they are on your side.

“I’ve never had an apology from the guy, but I’m not going to go down that road.

“I’m hoping that’s the end of it now. I just want to get back to talking about football matters and looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Press Association

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