Elgin footballer back in court on assault charge

Darryl McHardy - Elgin City star back in court
Darryl McHardy – Elgin City star back in court

THE CAREER OF an Elgin City footballer has been placed under threat after he admitted head-butting an off duty paramedic in a local nightclub.

Darryl McHardy has become a vital part of the League 2 sides current challenge for promotion – however, doubts will now be cast over his future at the club following a second court appearance.

McHardy, 20, was two years ago jailed for nine months for his part in causing an accident on the A96 that left former Elgin City goalkeeper Chris Tucker with life-threatening injuries.

He was back at Elgin Sheriff Court on Thursday where he admitted the assault on Kris O’Neill at Joanna’s nightclub in Elgin city centre on August 16 last year.

Fiscal Ruaraidh MacAllister told the court that McHardy had been drinking heavily throughout the day having attended a wedding dance.

He became involved in a verbal exchange with Mr O’Neill before head-butting the paramedic – McHardy then left the club with his victim’s blood still splattered on his face. The court heard that he told police officers it was his own blood – however, later study of CCTV images from the nightclub revealed the true events.

Defence agent Matthew O’Neill told the court that McHardy “fully accepts his behaviour was disgraceful”, adding that he was devastated that he had caused harm. McHardy, who works as a builder as well as his part-time football career, had great concern over both his careers after the incident, Mr O’Neill said.

Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov declined an offer from McHardy to pay a financial penalty and noted his unreserved apology and an appeal from his defence agent that imprisonment would undo the progress he had made since being released from his last conviction.

Sentence was deferred until next month to allow a restriction of liberty assessment to be carried out.